Quarantine Q&A: Update (Part 8)

Summer is officially ovah and while it may not be so cold that we’re forced inside *yet*, you’re probably realizing outdoor social distancing will be tough soon. Don’t worry, I’m here for you. For more ideas, check out: Part 7, Part 6, Part 5, Part 4, Part 3, Part 2, and Part 1.

Most Importantly:

Please please please VOTE. The election is only a week and a half away and getting your voice counted is one of the most important things you can do. I don’t often get political on here because it’s not really what this site is about. Plus, I want this to be a welcoming space for anyone, regardless of their belief system. But voting in general is just so necessary and this election has so much on the line so it’s time to say (or in this case, write) something. This post is about things you can be doing during pandemic and voting is the number 1 thing.

The election is just a week and a half away. At this point, you should already be registered, so now it’s time to make sure you have a voting plan in place. Are you voting by mail or in person? Do you know where your polling place is? Have you scheduled time off work? If you’re unsure about any of this, just go to a site like vote.org to figure ish out.

A more personal take is as follows (and then I promise we’ll get to fun things to cook, read, listen to, and watch):

I’ve always said “I don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote.” Why have I said this? Because if you have feelings about…anything…it is your right to vote to put the people in office who will help carry out those feelings and desires for our country. Even if our opinions differ, that’s ok because every opinion matters and people in office should represent the people they serve. *THAT SAID* I do feel this time is different; and there is a “correct” vote in this particular election. I am a lifelong conservative; yet I can not, in good conscience, vote for Trump. While Biden would not be my first choice, I will be voting for him because he will be better for this country than Trump. Periodt. I recently watched as Trump confidently relayed falsehoods in a town hall, despite being fact-checked by Savannah Guthrie (who is a total badass, by the way!). His reaction to the current pandemic has been abysmal – unforgivable since this is literally a life or death situation. And under Donald Trump’s leadership we have seen a startling and worrisome rise in prejudicial and defamatory acts, aka hate crimes. I understand he isn’t personally doing anything but his comments and behaviors have emboldened people to act in a truly disgusting way. I can not support someone who has in any way pushed our country in that direction.

this time is different; and there is a “correct” vote in this particular election


  • Cooking/Recipes:
    • Football is BACK! Even though we can’t really watch inside with friends, I’d like for our teeny household to have some sort of tailgating experience. I’m thinking a Frito Pie bar is is a must.
    • While everyone else might be thinking pumpkin in the fall, I crave buff chick during this season. I’m sure I’ll be making dip and sandwiches, but I’m very excited to try this recipe for buffalo chicken egg rolls with cilantro lime ranch.
    • I’ve wanted to try making an upside down cake for a while now and this one – with pears and spices – caught my eye. The problem, as always, is that we’re not big sweets eaters (a slice – total – would satisfy us) so this would go to waste in the time of social distancing. These pear muffins seem like a nice alternative.
    • This list of iconic cocktails and movie pairings is solid. I would definitely plan a movie night around this.
  • Other Activities:
    • Tend to a Plant – If you can’t hang out it the garden, bring the garden inside. Now is an ideal time to groom a new green friend. I killed my last plant child, but I’m ready to try again.
    • Apple/Pumpkin Picking – Be basic! Rent a Zipcar and go apple and pumpkin picking. It’s an ideal activity for social distancing. You’ll walk away with some great goodies (there’s always jams and such to buy in the farm store) and solid pics. You’ll spend about an hour and a half there so you can count on this to eat up nearly 4 hours of the day (including the drive there and back) which is great since we’re all looking for things to do once it’s too chilly to sit in the park and too pandemic-y to sit in a bar and watch football. And if you’ve missed the window, go to a local farmstand (or even a Trader Joes) and pick up some mini pumpkins to decorate your home. Maybe even paint them to last through November.


  • Books:
    • When No One Is Watching – This seems like a unique twist on the thriller genre. Normally thrillers pull a person’s craziness into focus; this is more of a social commentary on gentrification. As someone who is currently part of a neighborhood’s gentrification, this is definitely on my TBR list.
    • It’s been a minute since I’ve read a memoir, a genre I usually enjoy, so I’m very into this list of 36 new memoirs.
    • Piranesi seems like a very different style of novel so I’m interested to see if I’ll enjoy it. At 272 pages, it should be a quick enough read.
    • I love these lists of books to read based on your favorite 2020 Emmy nominated shows. (I gravitated towards Shitt’s Creek and Pose, but there are a few more too.)
  • Movies:
    • Sidewalks of New York – We’ve been watching a lot of Ed Burns movies lately and I really liked this one. Roger Ebert said “the movie lives at the intersection between Woody Allen and “Sex and the City” and I think that’s pretty accurate.
    • RBG – We tried to see this when it first came out but our tiny Hilton Head theater was sold out and I never found my way back. In the wake of her death, this documentary shot to the top of my list. It’s amazing. Justice Bader Ginsburg was a truly incredible woman and one of a kind.
  • TV:
    • Julie and The Phantoms I binged the entire first season in a day. It’s definitely meant for middle/high schoolers, but I adored it. It’s brought to you by the same guy who did High School Musical and The Descendants, which I stan, but since it’s on Netflix (instead of Disney) it’s not so cheesy. And the songs are catchy as hell.
    • Get Organized – I’ve been following The Home Edit for a few years and find their colorful organization so satisfying. You wouldn’t think watching people organize a closet or home would make for good television, especially when there’s nothing salacious or particularly heart-rendering, but it is actually really good tv. That said, one season was enough.
    • Insecure (Season 4) – I absolutely love Insecure but totally forgot the latest season dropped in May. Remembering this was waiting for me on HBO was like finding a $10 bill in last winter’s coat.
    • Call The Midwife – New season! Still a great, wholesome show.
    • Great British Baking Show – Also a new season! This time, because they filmed during COVID, it’s airing at the same time here as in England…that means one ep at a time. Sorry folks, no bingeing.
    • Cobra Kai – This one is a little cheesy (especially when music plays) and the acting isn’t winning any Emmys, but it’s cute and great if you were a fan of any of the Karate Kid movies. Also, the episodes, at 22 minutes each, absolutely fly by.
    • Emily in Paris – Binged the entire season of this Netflix show in a single Saturday. It is absolutely dreamy and the fashion is INCREDIBLE.
    • Schitt’s Creek – The final season is now on Netflix and it was wonderful.
    • Deaf U – There is an entire deaf culture that so many people don’t know about. This reality show (on Netflix) follows a group of friends at Gallaudet University. It’s incredibly interesting, particularly if you don’t know much about the deaf community.
    • Four Weddings and a Funeral – Anything Mindy Kaling does is good so of course I enjoyed this one. I’ve never actually seen the original movie, but this series was fun, representative, and had some great fashion moments. (On Hulu.)
  • Podcasts:
    • Ear Hustle – My fave podcast is back with Season 6
    • Criminalia – I like that this historical podcast has a specific focus for the season; in this case, women who have poisoned people. It’s so interesting!
    • Say Their Name – This show, which just launched on 10/12, is about the killing of unarmed black people at the hands of the police. I think it’s important to note that work on this show began long before George Floyd’s murder when much of the country decided to get woke – it’s not simply a reaction piece. It’s not just about telling stories – but it does do that, beautifully, by speaking with the victims’ families and communities. It’s about offering solutions, driving awareness of an incredibly important issue, and providing support.