Blurday, December 16, in the Year of the Pandemic

Top Stories

How Are We All Doin’?

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“So you guys haven’t been around for a while.  How have you been?” asked the ODD reporter.

 

“Are you kidding?  said the wife. “Look!  I had my first pandemic injury!  Fingers the size of sausages!  From coloring maniacally, all those owls! Pre-election, post-election, and during whatever this is now. 

“The other day, I put blueberries in the coffee filter. I pop Tums like they’re M&Ms.  And now I learn there’s a nationwide antacid shortage!”  

“It’s all a blur,” said the husband.  “We had to downsize Thanksgiving, which meant plowing through bins of frozen mega-turkeys to find one for two people. We got whiplash from the barrage of court cases. Plus it’s nine months in and we still have no sourdough starter! We don’t even know what a sourdough starter is!”  

 

“But the vaccines are here. Isn’t that great news?” queried ODD.  

 

“Of course that’s great news!”  said the wife. “But there are miles to go. I have to learn to color leftie without injury.”  

 

“And I have to figure out how to make a sourdough starter,” said the husband.

 

“But in the meantime,” they said together, “make sure to tell them we didn’t forget about them, and we wish them, each and every one, Happy Holidays!”

To Shout or Not To Shout?

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“I can’t hear you!”

“I’m cooking!”

“I can’t see what you’re talking about!”

“I’m in the bathroom!” 

“Why should I come there?” 

Sound familiar?  With so many at home for so long, issues with inter-room communication abound. 

“Oh, we go through that a lot,” said the husband, eyeing the wife. “It’s always annoying, but now more than ever.”  

“We both do it,” said the wife, eyeing the husband. 

“In fact, I went to the web to find some advice,” the wife continued.  “I didn’t find much, but there was one post that asked:  “Is it ok to shout at someone in another room or at the opposite end of the house, instead of going to find that person?”  Mostly, it’s not. 

“So I guess we’ll just have to stop yelling to each other, RIGHT HONEY?” bellowed the wife.  (Just kidding.) 

Husband Takes Up Farming!

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“At first I didn’t know what he was doing. I thought he was just scrolling through his email or reading FB posts,” the wife told ODD.

“But it turns out, he was ordering seed, harvesting grain, feeding his cows, and shipping his products. Turns out he’d taken up virtual farming!”

“Well, it’s a good pandemic game!” the husband said, referring to Township, thereby illustrating Quartz’s observation that “the pandemic has turned everyone into gamers.” 

 

“Plus you don’t order seed!” said the husband. “And it’s not just about farming.  You create your own economy, your own world, minus the whole P-thing.  You grow crops, raise animals, manufacture, mine jewels, build housing, import, export, sell stuff—"

 

“Fascinating,” said the wife, mid-yawn. 

 

“And, I built a zoo! I named all the animals alliteratively!” he boasted. “Like the zebras: Zackery, Zeke, Zeppo and Zelda.”

 

“Oy,” said the wife. “I’m worried about you.”  

Update: Wife Now Hates Tilapia Cakes!

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“Yes I was very excited when I first combined three recipes to create the perfect tilapia cakes,” reported the wife (see story in inaugural ODD issue). 

 

“But that was nine months ago!  How long can a person sustain enthusiasm about fish cakes?! I’m done!” 

Short Takes

News from Virtual Learning

When schools closed, five-year-old Elijah, who loved preschool, gave his parents a reality check. Sitting at the table with his mother, deeply frustrated with virtual learning, Eli blurted out: “This isn’t school!  This is the KITCHEN!”

News from Whole Foods

Our dear friend Veronica is a newly minted shopper at Whole Foods. Her first week on the job, she could not get over how many people were ordering cauliflower—tons and tons of cauliflower.  She was fascinated by the guy—"obviously a vegan”—who "spent $120 on just leaves.” And she’d like to know why cheese is a "specialty food. It is,” she said, “just cheese.”

News from The Loft

Wife bought a sweater, wore it for two hours, and broke out in a rash. The clerk took it back, but not without snootily advising the wife that “maybe you should see an allergist.”  “Maybe you should find out what this mystery material is!” the wife wishes she’d said.

More Shopping News

"I got a new robe!” announced the wife, taking the plush, red, cozy, on-sale garment for a spin for the husband.”  “Very nice,” he said, grinning. “You look like Mrs. Claus.”

News from the Wild

On husband’s recent bike ride (always an event), he encountered a flying squirrel. “Out of nowhere a grey furry thing leaped up at me and whacked my leg!  I don’t know if I ran over its tail and it jumped,  or if it came flying across the road and took a leap!  Then just as fast, it was gone.” (No animals--apparently--were harmed in this encounter.)

News from the Commuter Lot

“The number of cars in my commuter lot when I get home from work are up 25 percent,” S. in Westchester told ODD. “Do you keep track because more cars means life is getting more back to normal?” ODD asked.  “No,” said S. “I’m a math geek. I count everything.” (Actually, he’s an accountant.) 

News from the World of Where to Live

“Given the election results, for now we’re forgetting about moving to Portugal,” said the wife, who’d never even been to Portugal. Said a good friend who’d been listening to these two planning since 2017 to sell their house and downsize, “Portugal? You guys can’t even move to Connecticut!”

News from the PBS Newshour

What’s with the cats?  While William Brangham was reporting on “Milestones in the 2020 Elections,” his fuzzy brown cat was apparently eating the seat of his living room chair.  While Lisa Desjardins was giving her congressional report, her black and white cat was cavorting on the couch. Really, guys, we’re already distracted!

Tips for Surviving the Pandemic

Protect those pierced ears! 

“All these months, I totally forgot about my ears!” said the wife.  “I couldn’t imagine finagling with earrings (mine are all slightly dangly) while also managing eyeglasses and a mask. It’s way too much ear action.  But then I realized, what if the holes in my ears close?!  Turns out they can! So studs everybody, to be on the safe side.

Turn that crib into a desk!

Maritza in NJ (Elijah’s Mom) has four kids at home, three school age, and was a desk short. She’s not on FB, but her hip 60+ year-old mother is, and she gave Maritza a hot tip: turn that unused crib into a desk! Maritza did (see it here!) and now Eli has “school” in the basement, which he likes way better than kitchen table school.

Dance with the Franciscans! 

These guys fascinate me,” writes Frances in DC.  She's talking about Italian Franciscan priests in full vestments singing and dancing with gusto “to a traditional Italian Advent song about awaiting the birth of You Know Who.”  The message is “roughly about joy,” says Frances. Go ahead, tune in...please! You won't be able to sit still!

Join the purge!

“Everybody I know is getting rid of stuff, reorganizing, sifting through, clearing out storage lockers, closets, basements, garages,” said the wife, just down from the start of an attic purge. “Except for the husband.”  To which he said:  “Pandemic’s not over. There’s still time.”

Memory lapse? So what!

Sara in Brooklyn thought she had returned her husband’s old jeans in the box intended to return his new jeans. She hadn’t!  The right-size new jeans arrived, but the old jeans were still missing. Months later, she took clothes out of a box under the bed, and voila! “I had no memory of putting them there!” she said, laughing. “Our brains are on overload. These are confusing times. My advice, don’t get too upset about anything!”

Cauliflower connoisseurs take note!

Tired of just eating cauliflower?  How about using it to:

  • Build a house!

  • Make a rug!

  • Redecorate that dated kitchen!

For more, check out Colin Stokes' and Ella Quittner's “12 Surprising Ways to Use Cauliflower" at The New Yorker.  

Hang in there...we're all in this together...and apart.

What You Said

From Sandi in NJ

“Here’s to another thoroughly engaging/entertaining/ODD.  I just feel bad that I missed Reptile Awareness Day.  There’s always next year…”

From S. in Westchester, who wanted to share a joke

“A couple decided to plan a trip for when the virus is over.  The husband bought a world map, put it on the frig, and gave his wife a magnetic dart.  Wherever I landed, they agreed, would be their vacation destination. She threw. It looks like they’ll spending two weeks behind the refrigerator.”

From a guy in CT

“Thanks again for putting me on your mailing list for Our Domicile Daily.  Where else can I get all this important information about women’s bras?" (See "Wife Reluctantly Straps In!")

The Bee Hive

For NYT Spelling Bee Obsessives (we know you're out there)

Weird Word of the Weeks

Tittle - a small distinguishing mark (dot on a lower case i or j) or a very small part/quantity, particle, jot or whit. To wit, "he said he didn’t care a tittle.”

Runner-up WWoW

Gorp - trail mix sometimes called scroggin, a food carried and enjoyed by hikers. It is actually an acronym for "Good Old Raisins & Peanuts".

Word whose usefulness should be called into question

Dooryard - the yard next to a door of a house. I mean, REALLY? Isn't that just a yard?  Bonus points for anyone having previously used it in conversation. Drop us a line if this is you!

Husband's Stats

Queen Bee:38 of 56 days!

Pangramistas!

Congratulations to Andrea and Nicholas in DC, who were Pangramistas at least five times over the past 8 weeks!  The ODD community is A-BUZZ with your success!

To achieve the heights of pangramista:

Discover at least two pangrams in one session - a rarity as the Bee keepers usually only manage one a day! 

  1. The husband shall refrain from entering his words into the NYTs Spelling Bee App until the wife has had an opportunity to “have a crack at it”.

    • The husband shall list his words for the day on a single page in a spiral notebook.

    • The words shall be listed in columnar fashion, grouped by initial letter. 

    • The daily Spelling Bee letters shall be listed across the top of said page.

    • The points required for “genius” shall be noted on said page.

  2. The husband must make his best effort to find as many words as possible before seeking help, and whenever possible, seek no help at all. 

    • The official ODD help source shall be www.shunn.net/bee/latest

    • First-level help (the number of words beginning with each letter) may only be accessed once “genius” status is achieved.

    • Second-level help (breakdown of the words by first two letters), shall be used only as a last resort and never until after dinner.