Taking Stock: May 2020

Making: An effort?  The first couple of weeks of quarantine lock down (and all the video calls that commenced) had me really concerned about the state of my face.  It just looked so old.


And I know intellectually, that growing old is a privelege denied to many.  But still.  So, I started making an effort.  On heavy video conference meeting days, I put makeup on.  And have a more reasonable camera angle.  Spoiler, my external webcam, which I think I have had for 7-8 years?  Not the best camera for accurately representing my face.

Cooking: I didn’t realize it, but Bon Appetit has a new series of recipes, which I think are meant for novice chefs… or those wanting to use simple ingredients.  Whatever the case, I have made their No Knead Foccacia and its wonderful.  Like, so good that even the sprigs of rosemary I pruned off the half dead plant on my deck couldn’t ruin it.

Sipping: So much carbonated water.  I’ve been kind of frustrated with Best Buy and Target with getting my soda stream carbon tanks.  TBH, I don’t believe that I should have to drink still water, like some type peasant.  And since I am home with Dave, we have been going through the Soda Stream tanks pretty fast.  There were three different times I went to Target for a tank and couldn’t get one… once after I called to check that they had them.  Truthfully, if I was a smoker and had a fire source in my pocket, I would have set fire to the store.  So, I found a company that does exchanges through the mail.  The tanks are a little more ($20 as opposed to $15), but they are shipped straight to my door.  And I don’t have to fight the urge to burn Target to the ground.  Apparently, you get your ass called a Karen for that shit.

Listening: I have been listening to all the audiobooks! None of the Mann-Booker books… the one I have going on my phone is the Luminaries, which is absolutely awful.  I feel like I have been listening to it forever.  If someone told me that it was 1000 hours long, that would feel about right to me. For some reason, I am physically incapable of sitting and reading a book these days… but I am whipping through the audiobooks.

Wishing: For travel.  I want to go some place.  I don’t know where.  Somewhere. I am thisclose to packing Dave and Nico into a car and driving to Texas to stay with my sister and her family.  Just to go.  Just for a change of scenery.

Enjoying: Imperfect Produce has started carrying meat and seafood.  I don’t always get my selections, but last night I had scallops that were delicious.  Really like getting a box on Monday knowing that I’ve got a good start on produce for the week, along with some protein.

Loving:  An iPad pro.  I just got a new work laptop (Surface Book), so this was really not necessary to buy.  But, I was honestly fed up with trying to read stuff on my Kindle.  It seems that every time I’d go to read on it, it was dead and the memory was full, despite it having a big ass SD card in it.  I also wanted it because I love digital magazines.  Also, as much as I try, I just get make an “Everything” Notebook happen.  So, I end up with a notebook for every occasion and without fail, I usualy don’t have the notebook I need when I need it… so I’d like to experiment with notetaking with handwritten notes on the iPad.  I’ve even been thinking about making my own digital planner, with all the spare time that I have.  If I figure out how to monetize them, its over for you bitches.   *silly*.  I really hope that I use it a lot.  Like, I kinda wish I could go back and do school so that I could do shit like this:

Watching: All the series!  Seriously, how in the hell am I unable to get a paper’s analyses together, but I have managed to watch all 7 seasons of Brooklyn 99 during the pandemic. I have also watched: the first season of Beforeigners, the first season of LegoMasters, half of the first season of the English Game,  two seasons of Killing Eve, and all of Four Weddings and a Funeral. How? Also, I have watched the first (and only) season of Making the Cut (on Amazon).  We’ve also watched the entire collection of Jeopardy on Netflix, as well as the first parts of Season 2 of Sunderland Till I Die and Take Us Home Leeds United.

Hoping: Really hoping to get more people into the parent group at Nico’s school.  I’d like to be able to do more grant writing and fundraising and not have to do community building events and stuff that I don’t want to do.  I have found my first couple of grants, I just need to get off my ass and do it.

Wearing: Masks these days.  Really glad I was able to pick up some cotton print last year to rep Manchester City and the Cubs.

Following: The Kitchen Committee on Insta (@thekitchencommittee).  Maggie Mason found a box of recipes at flea market and has been posting the recipe cards.  Followers claim them and make them.  Then send a pic of the dish, as well as their impression.  Absolutely genius.  The recipes are what you’d expect.  They look like they were written by someone’s grandma, having lived through the great depression.  And saved.  Lovely.

Noticing: I am notiching the hell out of Carolyn Marten’s wardrobe on Killing Eve.  I love it.  It is definitely my vibe: solids, age appropriate, lots of gray, black, and navy.  cm_tabcollarcoat_whitetop

No so certain about that white top- mostly because white tops are magnent for food for me.  But that gray jacket? WANT! The crazy thing about the way she dresses, is that it’s low-key, but expensive AF.  Really need to get a house, so I can have a sewing corner, so I can have a dress form, so I can sew these clothes, because even I can’t justify an expensive Armani wardobe.

Thinking: I am thinking about doing another Master’s Degree.  DPU offers a self-designed interdisciplinary Masters.  You’re limited to no more than 6 courses in each of the different colleges.  The more I learn about digial humanities, the more I am intrigued by it, its methods, and its tools.  As an employee, I can take up to 8 credit hours per quarter, for free.

Springsteen on Broadway

New York, was New York.

I remember how impressed I used to be with New York.  The first couple of times I went I was living in Florida, and was literally awestruck by everything.  Trains.  The sheer number of people who lived there.  The assumption that everyone I saw on the street was in glamorous and famous in some way.  Which is totally not true.  Most the people you see in New York don’t live there.  And many are just straight up annoyed that you are there, from Florida.

But the less impressed I became with New York over time (especially since I live in Chicago now) the more amused I become by “born and bred” New Yorkers, people who believe it is the best city in the world because it is the center of the universe, it has the best everything.  New Yorkers who don’t even learn how to drive, because why bother?

One thing I continued to be in awe of are the NYC cabs.  They reminded me of schools of fish, moving quickly and smoothly down the street,  merging and stopping as if choreographed.  

My sister had the cool idea to take my mom to New York to see Springsteen (who is playing at the Walter Kerr theater on Broadway). She entered into the lottery and got two tickets, which was unfortunate, because we were three.  I rolled the dice and went, thinking that I could scrape up a ticket.  Surely I could.  Just one ticket?  Just one poor bastard who ended up having to work?

Narrator: JBR was not able to get a ticket, despite extensive efforts on Craigslist and standing in the “lucky seat” line at the theater.

Which ended up being fine.  I left and had a drink near Times Square (which is still an awe-inspiring experience). Then I had a fantastic dinner and headed back to the hotel. My mom and sister had a fantastic time at the concert.  Which was cool.

img_4134We ended up getting to do some fun things while we were there.  We went to Mood (of Project Runway) and saw Swatch.  Having not seen much Project Runway, I didn’t realize that Swatch was a big deal.

I know, its blasphemy to say that.

It was a lot like the old days, with Nicole and me toting and fetching for my mom.  The only thing we were missing was JJ picking out thread for various projects.


I got to “run” the Brooklyn Bridge. I say “run” because there was no running involved- since the weather was nice and 384745758594940482 people were on the bridge.

Ugh.  So many people.  So many people not being aware of their surroundings.  So many tourists.  I don’t know why I got it in my head that I wanted to do this- but I just did.  I guess I thought that this was “real” that crossing the bridge on foot was what “real” people in New York do, when they are going about their daily lives.

FALSE.  Mostly just tourists do this.

Oh well.  It was a nice walk, except for all the people.  But New Yorkers probably say that all the time about tourists.  And if I am being honest, I should note that at the time, I was a tourist.  Sad face emoji.


Just to complete the “total basic bitch” look, I am totally listening to “New York State of Mind.”  As one does.


Also, for the first time EVER, I got to go inside the New York Public Library.  Which was FANTASTIC.  It is a beautiful building.  But again, with the tourists.  Not a fan.  Not a fan at all.  Note to self: next time I go to New York, find a special event at the library at night, so I can enjoy the best library in the world without all the damn tourists.

I said what I said.


In all, it was a really fun time. I wish that we could do a trip like this once a year.  Different places, not always New York or big cities- but something with my mom and my sister, because I don’t see them enough.