Monday, April 20, 2020

Self-Quarantine Musings...

Don’t you find the highlight of your week is when food deliveries arrive?

I never remember how many days the virus stays on cardboard vs. plastic. I just wipe everything. 

When you order from Instacart, if the market is out of the item you ordered they ask if it’s okay to substitute something very similar. We said yes. Instead of Grape Nuts cereal they gave us Coco Puffs.

God forbid an appliance breaks down.

Maybe it’s my generation, but when I order from Postmates on my phone and it actually arrives I’m amazed.

Same when I link into a Zoom meeting. Magic.

I happily over-tip delivery people, but if a Postmates guy doesn’t wear a mask and gloves his tip goes way down.

There are restaurants in LA that now won’t use delivery services that don’t strictly adhere to masks and gloves. I love the Apple Pan but not enough to risk ICU.

You know who really loves this lockdown?  Your pets.  You're home all the time now. 

I see people walking on my block I’ve never seen before.

When you take your walk don’t you find yourself resenting any other person you see approaching? Are you going to have to now cross the street or will they? I find that 90% of the time it’s me.

For variety I now sit in different chairs around the dinner table.

Like Maggie Smith said in DOWNTON ABBEY: “What is a weekend?”

Don't post your senior photos on Facebook.  You're giving potential hackers information you don't want to share, and for the graduating class of 2020 that is being denied their fun activities, your pictures are just rubbing it in.  

I spend a lot more time listening to Hearing music from an earlier, happier era is very soothing and comforting.

Oh no! Tonight is the season finale of BETTER CALL SAUL.

You know what's harder to get than toilet paper?  Hebrew National Salamis.

I sometimes now will skip a day showering.

But every day I still brush my teeth and wear pants.  

There is a Zoom feature where you can improve your video quality. I click on it and look no better. I guess there’s only so much technology can do.

How many of you are listening to my podcast during your walks? And if not – hint hint.

You’d think the networks would be thrilled that they now have a captive audience. And yes, ratings have risen, but they’ve lost a ton in advertising. And if inflated numbers don’t translate to advertising dollars they’re essentially worthless.

I'm starting to lose interest in KILLING EVE. And speaking of things I'm tired of watching...

Why do reputable news organizations even bother to broadcast Trump’s daily slew of lies and misinformation?  People are dying as a result.

Note to Trump spokesperson/cretin, Kellyanne Conway: The reason the White House wasn’t informed of COVID until COVID19 (as if they were numbered and there were 18 previous COVIDS) is because the 19 stands for 2019. The level of ignorance and incompetence is just staggering. Good luck to the idiots who follow their advice instead of doctors’, scientists, and intelligent human beings.

Half the people I know are using this time to really be productive and the other half just can’t get motivated to do anything. Where do you fall?

I have a lot more garbage these days for some reason.  

No new episodes of AMERICAN IDOL. Okay, now this has gotten real.

I know people are passing the time on Facebook asking fun survey questions and that's great, but I hate when they end with "GO!"  As if I'm required and ordered to play.  When I see that, my response is to call out two more words that follow "go" and the second one is "yourself." 

Stay home. Social distance. Wear masks. Ignore Trump. Save lives, maybe even your own.

Coco Puffs???


Tommy Raiko said...

"You know who really loves this lockdown? Your pets. You're home all the time now."

Well, your dogs, sure. Your cats might still be offput by having you around. :)

Jeff said...

Funny post. I had the same thought about the yearbook photo posts. How is this going to make any senior feel better? And how many 18 year olds are even on Facebook?

Troy McClure said...

Kellyanne Conway's colossal stupidity reminds me of the time the producers of The Madness of King George III said the film would be released in the US as The Madness of King George because they were concerned some people would wonder why parts I and II hadn't been released.

I want to hear from resident Trump fan Jen From Jersey with another of her hilarious comments about what a fantastic job he's doing. Like the fact that just two weeks ago, on the day after more than 700 New Yorkers died, Trump tweeted about the ratings for his press briefings beating the Bachelor finale.

The president of the United States bragging about his TV ratings beating a reality show.

The president. The leader of the free world. Tweeting about his TV ratings. In the midst of a pandemic.

And last week he tweeted that Chinatown is in China.

That's YOUR guy, Jen.

Teri McG said...

I have plenty of food. But I've had to go to the store three times already to buy a Covid's worth of candy and snacks.

Mr.morris said...

I couldn’t agree more about the “go” comment. I just saw another one of those posts just before reading your blog. As far as being the only one on a dog walk, I do get bothered when I see someone walking towards us on the same side of the street. By the way, I do subscribe to your informative and entertaining podcasts.

forg/jecoup said...

American Idol will now have their live shows via Zoom. So interested how it's gonna work out

KCDennis said...

We have punted on Killing Eve. The first season was great, second season got progressively stupider, and the first episode of the new season broke the camel's back. We're done.

Mike Barer said...

Just a hint, nobody looks good to themselves (Zoom audio quality) but to your friends, you look fine.

MikeKPa. said...

I'm midway through Season 2 of Killing Eve, but I can see the fatigue factor. How many times can the cops just miss catching her? How many times can Konstantine switch alliances? But I find Jodie Comer's detached, emotionless character always mesmerizing.

Mibbitmaker said...

I'm used to the new lifestyle (though not to the degree we're stuck with now), so the whole weekdays/weekend thing is already chiseled in stone for me...

MONDAY: First weekday after the weekend, so it feels like Monday.

TUESDAY: The one day that is fairly interchangeable, unless there's time after midnight (depending on the talk shows) for me to listen to the new episode of the "Office Ladies" podcast. Also, Tuesday's the day Seth doesn't do "A Closer Look".

WEDNESDAY: The local free radio station has a favorite radio show from 9PM-11. The DJ collects all sorts of fun music and plays them on the show - mostly rock 'n' roll era garage, punk, oldies, lounge/exotica, and other variety of stuff. And "Office Ladies" if I don't listen earlier.

THURSDAY: My own "Must-See TV" Night for favorite shows, often ones aired on Thursdays from 1984-Community era. Lately, though, I've been watching more YouTube videos, sometimes videos about Friends and The Office. The Take especially offers great analysis on various TV shows, movies and tropes.

FRIDAY: Daytime another weekday, but weekend starts at night. That's when there's one of the online streaming radio shows where you get to see the DJ doing his thing. This night it's the show done by the man who runs the channel, with the greatest amount of listeners, including in the chatroom. Also the night for Bill Maher's show on HBO.

The weekend is when I usually watch "Mystery Science Theater 3000" shows.

SATURDAY: Starts with "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on NPR and ends with SNL (on TV, DVD, or sketches on YouTube)

Sunday: Begins with The Three Stooges and CNN's Reliable Sources (criticizing The Trump Stooges), ends with two radio shows on the same channel as the Friday one. One is classic hits (1970s-80s, with some '60s and '90s, the channels primary format) and the other an oldies show - one featuring far rarer songs from the '50s-modern times, with the emphasis on '60s-70s. The man has an amazing collection of records and CDs! Also John Oliver on HBO.

MONDAY: Rinse and repeat...

PolyWogg said...

Your home all the time?

* You're

Oh, Ken. Has it come to this? The isolation has destroyed your grammar. Sad.

(I type this about five times a day. I know the difference too, but I still type it. Glad to see someone else does it...)


julian said...

thanks for both the podcast and the blog, Ken. I may be behind a few at any given time, but i fire up the pod during walks, cooking, and waiting for coffee to brew. I picked up a few tips for zoom - 1] elevate the camera and tilt it down, look up a bit. 2] main light source behind camera and slightly offset 3] put a white towel on yr desk / out of frame to smooth out the face. hope that helps!

Jeff Boice said...

Weather has been lousy, so that helps. But I still think about the fact that gas is cheap, the interstates are empty, but I have nowhere to go...

Steve M said...

Maybe the nexus between Cocoa Puffs and Grape Nuts is mental health. The mascot for Cocoa Puffs says he's "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs," while the grapes in Grape Nuts are... nuts.

DaveW said...

My biggest fear is after his month long nap that wrecked the economy and killed thousands of people he's still going to get re-elected. The Dems have picked someone who couldn't get on TV if he owned a TV station and after the distraction machine and the October surprise we get 4 more years. Is there a pool somewhere on what the surprise is going to be this time around? My guess is we'll suddenly find out 'what's his name' has Alzheimer's and is a Chinese spy. I literally couldn't think of Biden's name for a minute, that can't be good.

Michael said...

They should have given you Count Chocula.

Perfesser Slaughter said...

I cannot say I have ever ordered groceries. I have ordered all sorts of products from shoes to shirts to computers from Amazon, but I have never had groceries delivery.

J. said...

Love all your observations...especially the one about you always being the one to move to the other side of the street during a walk to avoid others. Like you, that's me about 95% of the time.

I am definitely more productive during the lockdown than I am in "normal" times. I guess it's just the thought that we're not guaranteed we'll be around in a month or two (I know, it's bleak, but these are bleak times), so I want to get shit done.

Roy DeRousse said...

"Note to Trump spokesperson/cretin, Kellyanne Conway: The reason the White House wasn’t informed of COVID until COVID19 (as if they were numbered and there were 18 previous COVIDS) is because the 19 stands for 2019."

Weeks before this, a saw a Facebook post from someone who said that his little 3 year old asked him, "What was it like during COVIDs 1-18?" It was cute and funny... and totally logical for a 3 YEAR OLD. I was actually impressed by the logic behind her question.

Bruce said...

To paraphrase one of my favorite lines from "Cheers" - "You wear pants?"

MikeN said...

How about not crossing the street on a walk, and just pass each other as normal?
Outdoor transmission is very unlikely. China has a paper out on the topic, where sunlight is described as killing the virus. Nighttime is different, and virus can stay in air for hours.

I realize you would be more at risk Ken, but the odds of someone being symptomatic carrier are about 1 in 1,000(and they are not likely to be out walking), asymptomatic carrier odds are unknown, but could be as high as 1 in 3 based on testing in Chelsea, Boston. It is suspected that California may have had the virus earlier and many more are carrying immunity, explaining why California's numbers are relatively low compared to Washington and especially New York despite having so many flights from Wuhan.

So you have a low chance the other person has it, combined with a very very low chance of transmission, then even if you did get it, the chance of being symptomatic is low, and even if symptomatic, the chance if death is is still low.

Worst case 1/3 other person has it * 1/1000 transmission chance * 1/50 chance of symptomatic(the higher the chance the other person has it, the lower your chance of being symptomatic), * 5% death if symptomatic. One in 3 million chance of dying, one in 150,000 chance of infection.

Of course, if this is happening 100 times a day, those low chances add up.

VincentS said...

I am trying to be more productive. I shower, shave, exercise (although I occasionally skip a day for all of them and am currently nursing a sore calf muscle), wear pants (albeit sweats), memorize a Shakespeare monologue a week (I'm an actor), attend my workshops which have now gone virtual. I have actually ran out of books to read, so I will soon order more from Amazon.

Unknown said...

After my fitbit declared me dead, I started walking. When approaching people and they bolt to the side, I feel insulted. Nothing wrong with me, why are you avoiding me? Then I take a step back in my mind and realize what is going on. I still feel weird doing it, getting out of people's way. I just think when will this end. I don't do anything about it like the goofy people protesting it. I just wish they could get introduced to Darwin during their protests. When you have a high fever and can't breathe, can you take their guns then?

Ron rettig said...

Apple Pan forever, a true Westside tradition and treasure.

blinky said...

Your comment the other day that nobody would want to see a Covid19 play or movie is true. But in 10 years or so people will start to wonder how America ever elected such an arrogantly ignorant reality show (dim) star to run the country. I still don't understand it myself but I saw a T-Shirt that may help to understand the mentality behind the dumbest vote isn history. It said: TRUMP 2020, Because Fuck You Again.

The Big Guy said...

Really Coco Puffs? Or were you just being humorous? First, I didn't think anyone ate Grape Nuts cereal betides me. Second, I have not stopped laughing since I read that. Thanks.

Gary said...

I wonder if Kellyanne Conway thinks stores used to sell Preparation A through G, before finally settling on Preparation H?

(Old joke but I couldn't resist.)

thomas tucker said...

1) What's with Grape Nuts? They're not nuts, and not made from grapes.
2) Shower every other day? Ewwwww.

McAlvie said...

I don't cross the street, but I do swerve or give them a view of my back. Unless they are joggers, huffing and puffing and spraying. Its the joggers who really annoy me, but that was true even before because of the rude way they hog pathways.

It frosts me that we will probably be in this situation even longer because of idiots gathering, maskless, in crowds. Where might we be now if people had listened a month ago? Instead, they are only adding weeks, if not months.

There are people who are truly suffering financially, and they need that stimulus money; but those are the same people who haven't yet seen those checks. And mega corporations with thousands of employees are getting money intended for small businesses.

Lastly, you all know that those protests are staged by paid instigators, right? I mean, would you go risk your life in a crowd right now without getting paid for it? Because I doubt ending up on a ventilator is going to help anybody's financial situation, so why risk it? Only for money, my friends.

WB Jax said...

Hi, Ken. Friday Question for you: While making "Volunteers" did you or David ever meet James Horner (late film composer) or attend one of his scoring sessions (which, I recall, took place in LA)? The score is a kind of a "holy grail" for a lot of us film score fans and, year after year, we hope for a commercial release (session tapes are supposedly "lost"). Thanks, Ken.


P.S. - What do you think happened to Skype? Never hear anything about it (seems that we're all "Zooming" these days).

Troy McClure said...


Who exactly do you believe is paying thousands of Trump supporters across several different states to gather together in public armed with their machine guns and holding placards that say things like "COVID19 IS A LIE"?

Anonymous said...

Ken, Since you are bored, check out George Conway's twitter feed. Hard to believe he is married to KellyAnne CONway. Janice B.

MikeN said...

Some people buy Grape Nuts, and some have Grape Nuts thrust upon them.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Yeah, and what happened to Chanel No. 1, 2, 3 and 4?

D McEwan said...

Actually, I find the highlight of my week is when my old, old friend who is working delivering pot these days (Since there are no comedy clubs for him to ply his trade/art) drives by and delivers me some "overstock." He often brings me food too, and the last pot he brought me came with a roll of toilet paper.

Here's an unexpected aspect to this experience. I'm finding that, apart from my siblings, the people from the 7 decades of my life who have stepped up to help me out here and there, often with surprise deliveries of kind, lovely stuff, are all people I worked with when I was onstaff at The Comedy Store, 40 years ago. Who would have thought that stand-up comics, improvisers, and even some of the former waitresses and women from the office upstairs with Mitzi, many of whom I had not seen since the early '80s, turned out to be the ones who are serious about "helping our own," and are going the extra mile for me? These cynical, scorching comics, folks you'd think cynical to the marrow of their bones, folks who competed to be the first with a "Too Soon" joke after any tragedy, are the ones actually helping me out. One comic I know offered last week to front me some cash. I turned him down, noting that his income had taken a much-bigger hit than mine. But's that's the kind of folks they've turned out to be. Why are the poor more generous than the rich?

Frankly, I'd prefer Coco Puffs to Grape-Nuts, which always seemed to me one step away from just eating gravel.

Yes, my pets love the lockdown. Not only is Daddy home with nothing to do but be their slave, but none of the scary "Other People" come in anymore.

My building, a month ago now, blocked open all doors apart from our apartment doors, so you can walk from the street to any part of the complex without touching anything but the ground and your front door. You're not risking your life to take the trash downstairs, and I've gotten skilled at pushing the elevator buttons with my elbows.

How would a photo of me at 17 in 1967 aid hackers? Has that pimply-faced photo of John Oliver he's been using on his advertising this season ruined his life?

You now skip a day showering? I looked in my mirror today, and the face of crazy old Ben Gunn from Treasure Island was looking back at me. I needed to go to the store and the recycling center today, so I took out the clippers and trimmed it down, so strangers wouldn't think I was Ben Gunn (Or Claire Lyttleton in season 6 of Lost), then put on my mask and realized I didn't need to trim because no one will see my newly-trim beard under the mask. I've found that with the mask on, I don't even need to put in my teeth before hitting the store.

(To be continued...)

D McEwan said...

[Part Two]

Only wearing pants when it's sufficiently sunny and warm to justify opening some windows. I've actually been chatting with neighbors through the window who have no idea that I'm nude from the waist down.

"Why do reputable news organizations even bother to broadcast Trump’s daily slew of lies and misinformation?"

EXCELLENT QUESTION! I've certainly stopped watching them.

Put me in the half not motivated to do anything. I'm toying with resuming work on a partially-written novel, but it's fucking hard to write comedy when I'm usually depressed. My innate laziness likes this almost as much as my cats do. My primary goal right now is to survive to my 70th birthday next month, though of course, the party is cancelled.

For most of my life I dreamed of a day when sports, all sports, would just cease. How I pined for it. How I treasured the players strikes that prematurely ended seasons. But now that I've got my wish, the Irony Fairy went overboard, and also closed down the theaters, the gay bars, the comedy clubs. No, no. Too far, Irony Fairy. Just all sports. DOH!

Speaking of the Irony Fairy, I got VERY sick last week. No, not with IT!. A simple case of food poisoning, and four days later I was fine again, but how anti-climactic to get sick with something else. We forget their are still other maladies.

So I sit here, not reading as much as I usually, do as concentration is harder when depressed, watching old movies, old TV series (I'm just winding up a return trip through all 6 seasons of Lost for the first time in about 6 or 7 years), old, old game shows. Why is the highlight of my day Jack Narz hosting a 1973 episode of Concentration, or a 1983The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour? (At least on that latter one-season-blunder, every episode I've seen has had at least one old friend of mine in the celebrity panel, more often two, once in a while 3. So then I chat with old friends from the panel online or on phone, and tell them which ancient show they did 37 years ago I saw today.)

Thank the powers that be for Pornhub.

Mike Barer said...

I was just remembering the movie Jaws and how people were clamoring to have the beaches open
only to have that end in tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Skype got bought out by Microsoft and was folded into their teleconferencing software, Teams. Old legacy versions of Skype are still around and may still work but it is no longer being updated.
Kathryn A Librarian (who uses Teams at work through Office 365)

PS I also like to eat Grape Nuts. We also cross the street with oncoming pedestrians but that is because our cute little 15 lb rescue dog is very protective. Everyone wants to pet him but he will attack if he thinks we are being threatened by any passerby from humans to pitbulls. The dog is great with kids but he once attacked a nun.

Saburo said...

Ever since I got furloughed I decided to do two things:

1) grow a mustache/goatee, and
2) log 10,000-plus steps daily.

Podcasts are my lifeline to the real world during my early evening walks. Thank you for the accompaniment!

I'm also fortunate to live in an area (Honolulu) where all my favorite restaurants are centralized and I'm able to just walk on over and takeout direct. Screw the delivery services and tip the restaurants direct.

JS said...

I fall into unproductive and I own my own business and work from home. People aren't spending money so I find it hard to motivate myself to do much of anything when my stuff isn't selling.

I have eaten too much crap, drank too much alcohol and am spending too much time binging shows. (Bloodline, the first season, was pretty good though).

I used to live to go the gym, doubt I'm going to the gym anytime soon.

Where I live, I doubt we are going to open before June, if then.

It's just a slog.