Coronaversary

Today marks a year since we began quarantining to avoid COVID-19. It’s been a weird year. I started working from home immediately, while it took 6 weeks for actual distance learning to start for my daughter. My wife lost her job at an elective surgery center, but quickly got one in a hospital.

Our normal summer of camps and concerts was cancelled, replaced by virtual ones. Frustrated by the lack of live, loud music, I was inspired by the story of a socially distanced concert at a drive-in to start hosting concerts on our boat on our lake. I only did 3 shows, but I was happy that other folks around the lake hosted some as well while the weather was nice.

My daughter was ok with the virtual camps, but what saved her summer was forming a masked pod with 3 other neighbor girls. Every day she had a Zoom camp in the morning, then we had a friend come over and babysit the girls. The relationship between the girls has thankfully continued and they play together just about every day as my daughter prepares to return to school.

One nice thing about working in my home office by myself is being able to listen to things. After spending summers as a kid mowing lawns listening to loud music, I can’t use headphones for very long, so it was nice just to use speakers. After about a month, I started listening every day to a live show I’d been to close to that date, and posted them to Facebook (and later my blog). I also started listening to all the talk shows I watch (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah & Full Frontal with Samantha Bee) while I worked (later after school hours when I found out we didn’t have enough bandwidth to do that while my daughter was on Google Meet).

With no talk shows to watch in the evenings, I started catching up on TV I’d been meaning to get to (loved Watchmen, The Boys, The Mandalorian & Barry), then went wayback, watching all of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (some crucial backstory for The Mandalorian) and am now finishing off the Stargate franchise (I’d started before Nina was born, have finished Stargate SG-1 and now on Season 2 of Stargate Atlantis).

Not only TV shows, as I’d only seen 4 of the Marvel movies, and started watching them from the beginning. Time well spent, and nice to see how they all connect (favorite: Captain America: Civil War – better Avengers movie then Avengers: Age of Ultron). I moved on to the X-Men series next (almost done, Future Past is my favorite so far, followed closely by Deadpool), and then plan on working my way through the DC films.

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve been working my way through my unconverted miniDV tapes of concerts I recorded between 2000 to 2009. I’m now up to the summer of 2005, and you can see my progress at YouTube and the Live Music Archive.

My family loves to eat out, and we’ve only managed to eat out a handful of times. But we’ve been supporting restaurants by getting takeout every Friday (we rotate choices). We’ve also recently started having a family night on Saturday – the last 3 choices were jigsaw puzzle (wife), 2 episodes of Legend of Korra (daughter) and Pixar’s Soul (me). We had some vacations planned and those were cancelled; instead, we spent almost a week in Bethany Beach in August when the numbers were good, and spent 2 weeks at Christmas at home.

I love to cook, so not too much changed there, other than I took advantage of the sourdough boom to start making white bread for myself (being on a low sodium diet wasn’t giving me lots of options). My wife asked for an air fryer for her birthday, and for fans of fried food like us, that’s been a godsend.

My wife has been vaccinated, hopefully I will be soon, and as soon as one is available for my daughter, she will be too. We’re looking forward to normalcy as 2021 continues.

February concert flashbacks

February

Tuesday the 2nd I laughed at The Harry Potter Spinoff You Didn’t Know You Needed parody. Friday because of Wayne’s World being in the news because of their Super Bowl commercial we’d shown Nina the Queen scene from the movie, and it was fun watching her teaching all her friends to headbang. We had takeout from Santini’s for dinner. Saturday Nina started her new remote drama class: Ace Diamond: Fairy Tale Detective. Sunday Jill had ordered Pączki for Fat Thursday and we had a taste test of the flavors for breakfast. The Super Bowl was that evening and I made blue cheese dressing and wings in the air fryer. The game was a bit one sided, but the halftime show with The Weeknd was entertaining (and as usual marked Nina’s bedtime).

Nina Jill

Monday the 8th I got to take Nina to her pulmonologist before school, then Tuesday had the water in our fridge fixed. Friday we got takeout from Dolce Vita (lamb chops were excellent). Saturday Jill and I had planned to go out to dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day early (we often try to skip the craziness of the day), but an ice storm had other ideas, so we pushed it to March. We noticed Nina’s hair was getting long.

Nina

Sunday the 14th we went to see Crystalline at the Artechouse in DC. We were supposed to go 2 weeks prior, but there was a big snowstorm then, so we moved it. It was fun (Nina really enjoyed it), then we got an accidental Valentine’s Day. Artechouse was near The Wharf, which neither Nina nor Jill had been to. I’d found a couple places that had warm outdoor seating, but the 1st place didn’t have their heaters on and the 2nd place was full. Jill had seen a near empty Italian place, but when we got back it was filling up, and we tried it anyway and were seated next to another party who had no food or drink but already had masks off, so we left. As we walked, the next restaurant was Del Mar, which the Post had rated top at The Wharf. They had outside seating, so we figured we’d ask. Those were full, but they had space inside (good to eat lunch at 3PM), and definitely were adhering to safety standards, so we went in and had a great meal. Nina enjoyed a mocktail, pasta, and trying all our food (Jill and I shared the seafood paella) and desserts (churros, apple cider ice cream and cheesecake chocolate cake).

Jill Kerry Nina

I had wondered if they would ever cancel schools again, since a couple times it seemed likely they just switched to virtual learning. But on Thursday the 18th everything closed. Nina had so much schoolwork left, she didn’t finish until almost 6 and barely saw her friends. Friday we got Flippin’ Pizza for takeout, and on Saturday saw her friends plenty as they turned our backyard into an ice skating rink. Also Nina’s Wednesday night voice teacher brought her entire box of wigs to play with.

Nina

Monday Nina returned to Tae Kwon Do. We took her out of the in person classes in January when the numbers were bad, and she had been having trouble doing the classes virtually, so she had just taken a break, but was happy to get back. Wednesday Nina was happy I let her have pizza for breakfast. We also had a plumber from Wacker over to fix a leaky toilet and replace two faucets. Friday we got takeout from Kabobi By The Helmand (the lamb shank meal was delicious).

Lake Thoreau