A suburban guide to social distancing

By | March 22, 2020

A guide to social distancing in the suburbs? Isn't life in a suburb already socially distant? Surprisingly, even suburbanites can go crazy if they're tied to the house. And as an introvert who practices some form of social distancing for most of her life, it's me Really I can distract myself well, so I feel uniquely qualified to write about being entrenched for days.

—— FOOD ——


If you're a … Costco memberCostco offers 2-day delivery (free on 2-day orders over $ 75) for a fairly extensive list of items, including shelf-stable goods and fresh products / meat products. I love a good Costco trip, but my local Costco is never full and there is currently no way to shop some distance from other buyers. While I've baked a storm, larger packets of raisins and chocolate chips feel a little less intimidating than usual.

Or check out BJ’s and Sam's club if you don't have a Costco membership.

♥ Regional grocery stores ♥

Almost all medium-sized regional supermarkets in my area offer deliveries (with Instacart or Peapod), with a much wider selection available (usually also freezer options!) Than at Amazon or Walmart at the moment.


♥ Go hiking: I'm lucky enough to live in an area with lots of scenic trails with little pedestrian traffic. That's why I took brisk walks or short runs when I started to go crazy. You can also find local hiking trails AllTrails.

The Metropolitan Opera, which has canceled the performances until the end of March, offers streams of past performances free of charge.

♥ Working on a puzzle: I like to distract myself by solving Sudoku Puzzles, but I want to get one of them enormous puzzles at hand for boring emergencies.

♥ Take virtual museum tours Google Art & Culture.

♥ Go ahead with a Home safari to the Cincinnati Zoo. Or look at that Panda Cam at Atlanta Zoo.

♥ What is your creative approach? Start a diary, dust off your painting equipment or get the forgotten DSLR. I loved origami as a child and can record it Money gami sometime in the next few weeks.

Exercise at home: follow a YouTube workout, dance like nobody (or everyone) is watchingor take an online yoga class.


Go to Wings Over (or getting really good Chinese / Korean / Indian food with some travel) may be what I miss the most when I have to limit the amount of unnecessary driving I do. Of course I bake and cook more (and eat Shin Ramen with 12-minute eggs even more). Here are some recipes that I love or have on my list to try in the near future:

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Source: Two peas and their pod): I bake this recipe (and this one Simply a recipe) very much, since it is very undemanding and difficult to botch up. Remember to soak the raisins beforehand and roast the oats. I add roasted walnuts and sometimes chocolate chips because I like cookies that have a high ratio of stuff to biscuit.
Adult "SpaghettiOs" (Source: Bon Appétit): A super simple recipe that you can easily adjust to make it your own (it warms up well too). I use more flavors and fresh herbs than prescribed and prefer orecchiette or farfalle over the anelletti used in the original recipe.
Homestyle chicken noodle soup (Source: Damn Delicious): I like this recipe for chicken noodle soup, although I always take a shortcut and make the broth with a Costiss roast chicken. Another great recipe is this recipe critics that comes together very easily.

I'm looking for: a foolproof monkey bread recipe (I did that Roll frozen biscuit dough into sugar, which I would not recommend and therefore had to eat an unpleasant amount of substitute monkey bread); and a flaky croissant recipe (can't even look at a can of frozen dough without missing it Chocolate almond croissant from Maison Kayser).

—————- SNACKS —————-

A luxury that I really miss is the ability to search Asian and other specialty supermarkets for international snacks. In order to satisfy this desire, I turned to AmazonThere are countless third-party providers (in this case international). In the past few weeks I have ordered the following:

Meiji Yan Yan diving sticks: My snacking habits have not changed since I was 5 years old Dunk-a-Roos (which should be back on the shelves this year!!) and Yan Yans are kind of catnip for me. If you haven't had Yan Yans yet, they are biscuit sticks with a chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry dip. It's like Nutella & Go but with a better immersion jar. In any case, the 10-pack price on Amazon is extremely reasonable (about $ 11 with free shipping; make a monthly subscription). This is the only food (except Ruffles) that I hoarded in preparation for the ban.

If you liked YanYans (or even Nutella & Go) you could also enjoy Koala's March and Hello panda Cookies.

Rowntree fruit lozenges: I know that I am in the minority here, but I like my rubber candies with a lot of chewing. And the Rowntree fruit lozenges (or the Nestlé Frutips in East Asia) has a super satisfactory chew and a pleasant fruit taste (although I only really like the taste of black currant). And I always buy them in large quantities at Amazon or through a British retail center, because the unit costs are otherwise not justifiable. Speaking of gummy bears, that's me so close pull the trigger This 10-pack Meiji grape juice gumThis is a very reasonable price ($ 14.90 with shipping), but the seller has less than sure reviews, so I'm a little worried.

Pocky Almond Crush: If it's not already incredibly obvious, I'm a fool for combinations of biscuit, chocolate and nuts. It should come as no surprise that I really like it Pocky Almond Crushand the 10-pack price on Amazon is reasonable ($ 19.98, roughly what you would pay in an Asian grocery store in the U.S.).

Koike-ya Karamucho chips are a little spicy, a little sweet and super hearty. It is the perfect chip (for me). But it's expensive for potato chips. So expect to pay $ 5- $ 10 (with free shipping) for a medium-sized bag on Amazon.



I've had a "podcast favorites" post in the works for … years, but the list keeps growing and I don't know at that speed The Post will ever see the light of day. Here is the compressed version:

The daily: I will be happy to listen Michael Barbaro Talk about everything, but the daily is powerful (and the most subscribed podcast of 2018 and 2019) as it can humanize news that is often read as impartial and distant. I think it's absolutely great that the episodes are edited in such a way that they contain ambient sounds and the courtesy exchanged between the recorded parties. The Daily is intended for starved news consumers, but is also accessible enough for casual listeners. It is perhaps one of two podcasts that I never (far) fall back on.

Mystery show (and its cancellation) generates more cover and controversy than their individual season would normally justify, but it was really a good show, and the six episodes in season one were all delightful, with "belt buckle”To be the undisputed favorite. The score is out of the ordinary (with the distinctive fingerprint of a TAL alum) and the excellent processing enable everyday "everyday" puzzles that confused a person to be translated in a gripping way to a mass audience.

Beginning: The first season of StartUp is refreshing due to its transparency and sincerity and “How to share an imaginary cakeWill remain one of my favorite episodes of all time. Since StartUp is presented in a serialized format, you have to track a season linearly. So I usually wait until a season ends to publish it in one session. Although I didn't like all eight of StartUp's "seasons", the seasons on Gimlet Media were as great as the mini-series on Church planting.

More perfect: You don't have to be a Supreme Court junkie to enjoy More Perfect because it's extremely accessible and free from legal scholars who often make the law abstruse. The first two seasons examine some of the court's key decisions and create an interesting context for the cases in question. My favorite episodes: Sex appeal,,, Cruel and unusual, and The arms exhibition.

Reply All:: It takes a while to get used to it Alex Goldman's laugh (always a full laugh, apparently), but you'll appreciate his willingness to stand in the line of fire more and more: like the time he was bothering Telephone fraudstersor the time he killed a websiteor at the time he let his co-host PJ hack his cell phone.

You are not that smart: The first and only thing you need to know about them You are not that smart Podcast is that it ends with a cookie segment. Yes, you read that correctly. At the end of this very straightforward, often dark show, the moderator has his wife bake cookies according to recipes submitted by the listener and eats them directly into his microphone. I don't know why I love it so much. but i do. Apart from the winning cookie recipe, the show is also well produced and the guests are excellent. Sure, I could live without the excessive commercial breaks, but it's what it is. One of my favorite episodes is Change my view.

This American life: This does not require an introduction. As a pioneer of the narrative non-fiction genre, each episode generally examines only one topic, ranging from serious to light-hearted. My favorite episodes are usually pretty sad. So listen to a box of tissues nearby. Some of my favorites: Harper High School (part One;; Second part), Changed at birth, Tell me I'm fat, The huge money pool, 129 cars, Rome Com, Right to remain silent, The spirit of Bobby Dunbar, break up, Little bully, and Mistakes have been made (before #sorrynotsorry).

RadiolabThe slogan is "examine a strange world, “And the way the show is edited is strange: it has a jerky rhythm, is littered with unexpected sound effects and contains interviews that are sometimes superimposed. And the strange world that the hosts – Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich – are exploring is one in which A goat standing on a cow led to a bigger mystery, and one in which plants undergo experiments previously carried out on animals. If I ever feel too comfortable with my reality, I'll use an episode of Radiolab. My favorite episodes: Play god, fault, and diagnosis.


Good omen (Watch with Amazon Prime Video subscription)

♥ Does anyone remember Pushing daisies (ugh, so wonderful!)? For some reason Good omen reminds me of this short-lived show; not in terms of storytelling or topic, but because both are kind of quirky? Or because both colors are used in an obvious and deliberate way? In any case, it is easy to play this six-episode series in one session.

♥ I feel ambivalent about police procedures because I find myself serious Blue blood a turn, but the beginner is a show that I saw weekly. It was created by Alexi Hawley and stars Nathan Fillion. So while it's a drama, it has that castle-like lightness that I really enjoy.

♥ I'm still sad about the cancellation of Mozart in the jungle almost two years ago and occasionally watching the third season again (my favorite… just great wonderful) when I need some encouragement.

Hillary (view with Hulu subscription)

♥ I was just watching Hillary because a friend recommended it (I am still Mourning Hillary's loss in 2016), but I'm glad I did. While this four-part documentary adds very little new information, it retraces Hillary's story in a way that connects her life as a first lady with her life as an independent politician, and how the former colored the latter.


A gentleman in Moscow

Historical fiction is usually not a genre I would like to read (trash bodice ripper aside), but A gentleman in Moscow is surprisingly accessible and is not overwritten, as many “good” historical fictions tend to do so. This beautifully written book (with lots charming and colorful figures), which opened in Moscow in 1922, is followed by Count Alexander Rostov, who is placed under house arrest by the Bolsheviks in the opulent Metropol Hotel. Maybe we can all find meaning and purpose without going outside.

American prison: a reporter's covert journey into the business of punishment

Shane Bauer, the author of American prison and a senior reporter with Mother Jones who was undercover for four months at the Winn Correctional Center in Winn Parish, LA in 2014, and his experience in one 2016 Mother Jones article, into which he later expanded American prison. Not surprisingly, treating inmates in a for-profit prison leads to shock and disgust, but just as horrific is the overt and willful mismanagement and negligence of Corrections Corporation of America (now CoreCivic), the WCC operator at the time of reporting. While American prison was an interesting read, I just felt indignant and powerless about the broken US prison system, of which private prisons are only a fragment.

Behave yourself: Human biology at its best and worst

Behave, written by the neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky (who also wrote) Memoirs of a primate: the unconventional life of a neuroscientist among the baboons(which can be read on my list), asks many big questions: Mainly, how are people capable of amazing cruelty and selfless compassion? I think Sapolsky's most important warning is the one that, for simplicity, is against distilling complexity ("From a reductionist perspective, understanding something complex requires that it be broken down into its components. If you understand these parts, add them up and you will understand the big picture. And in this reductionist world, genes are the best part of understanding cells, organs, bodies and behavior. ”). While Behave is a volume (since the writing took 11 years), it is very accessible for writing in science: many topics are discussed at different levels of abstraction, but rarely overly simplified.

—— HELP ——

Donate to Food Banks: Use the Feeding America website to find your local grocery bank – and other organizations such as No child is hungry and food on wheelsthat provide food and medical care to those who need it.

Support your preferred local facilities by buying their gift cards.

♥ If you know vulnerable people who are likely to need help, call them and ask if you can help them connect to local support systems (or bring them accessories if you can) .

♥ Most importantly, and I know that this is not easy stay at home (i.e. social distance or self-isolation) as much as possible.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

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