With baseball shut down, and well, the world shutting down, we wanted to extend to you some ideas for Social Distancing.
For me, I'm still working from the office at the moment. I work for a security camera provider, and so business has actually up-ticked in uncertain times. It's kind of day to day with things shutting down left and right, but as a small business, we aren't meeting with large groups of people. Couple of tips:
• Learn to cook. With the grocery stores picked over, now might be a good time to try some new recipes with whatever odds and ends you can put together. The other day I made "scramble loaf" which I baked eggs, red peppers, chorizo into a Bisquick mix to make a Mexican style egg scramble loaf. It was pretty solid. Cooking is an underrated skill. (Tina: you found BISQUICK??)
• Get caught up on baseball movies. Everyone I talk to has always not seen a classic, whether it's the Natural, Sandlot, Bad News Bears, Bull Durham, etc. Now's a good time!
• MLB showdown. I'll write a full farticle on it, but it's a baseball card game that might play up to two people if you like board games and fantasy baseball. It's essentially a board game played with baseball cards, replacing the board. Each player has outcomes that reflect their MLB stats, and you roll a 20 sided die twice to determine the result of the at bat. It was developed by Wizards of the Coast, and ran from 2000-2005. It's available on Amazon.
Freelancing for a living has always been a challenge. I basically do not get paid when I don't work. Period. So when I decide to take a vacation, it's all on me. When the world locks down, there's nothing to film (Social Distancing is really a challenge, if not impossible, on a film set), and now I'm unemployed for what looks to be months. We'll be fine here, my husband and I are prepared for times like this. So what to do with my spare time? Do some things that I've wanted to do for years:
• Make sourdough starter and bread. Well, I'm going to try to make it, without yeast. I think a lot of people had the same idea... I couldn't find yeast anywhere! So if you have flour and water, you can try it too. I found a recipe for a starter without yeast here. Stay tuned for updates... (UPDATE: It's growing in my microwave, cracked open with the light on. And I finally found yeast at the store and I'm gonna make some bread!)
• Try and perfect my husband's late aunt's varenykys (the Ukranian version of pierogies). I tried it once... it wasn't bad, but the dough was too thick. Rolling out the dough to the right thickness is gonna take practice.
• Finish reading my book on the photographer, Vivian Maier (Vivian Maier: A Photographer's Life by Pamela Bannos). She was a street photographer in Chicago whose photographs and negatives were not found until after she passed. There was a fascinating documentary made about her in 2013 called Finding Vivian Maier. You can stream it here on Amazon.
• Catch up on my travel scrapbook. I'm about 10 years behind (UPDATE: I'm only 5 years behind now!)
In the meantime, I will try and catch up on writing more here, bake and cook more and try recipes I haven't yet (my Pinterest section on cooking and baking are pretty ridiculous... maybe I'll start there) and FaceTime/Zoom with my friends and family. Pretend cooking class anyone?
Staci: If you follow me on the Twitters, you've probably picked up by now that I work for a county government advocacy group. Since the government never, ever shuts down (and really can't if you want things like water, garbage pick up, law enforcement, fire departments and a whole mess of things), I'm able to work from home and continue to work as the state continues to do it's lawmaking business. Because a state as big as California also can't shut the government down.
That said, I have a few things planned or a few ideas for you if everyone starts to get a little stir crazy. • Try baking something fancy like you see on the teevee. My daughter loves to bake and is already pretty accomplished even at age 11! So this weekend we're gonna fire up the mixer and bake something fancy--maybe see if we can finally conquer macarons because those suckers give us fits! (Tina - good luck! I've had more failures than successes! )
• Take some music lessons! Have you always wanted to learn to sing or play guitar? There are a bunch of music teachers around giving lessons by Skype right now if you're serious about learning. I'll shamelessly plug two of my good friends here:
Pamela Moore is an accomplished singer and voice coach in Seattle who I've taken lessons with myself, and she is a magician! She's also giving 25% lessons if you sign up by April 15th, which you should totally do! www.pamelamoore.net
My dear friend Alex Ward is an amazing guitarist and experienced instructor who is also giving lessons via Skype, and you can contact him here: https://www.facebook.com/alexwardguitarist/
And for your kiddos, David Ellefson of Megadeth has spearheaded an effort by a whole mess of metal musicians who are gearing up to give Skype lessons for free to kids who are homebound! Check this out! It shreds!
Matt: I'm one of the lucky ones as I can work both of my jobs at home. For now. My main job is a content writer for a Inc. 5000 fastest growing Marketing company in Houston. I can do all of my research and writing at home and get it to my teammates through Google. Though my work chair is WAY more comfortable than my home chair. My 'side hustle' is actually just continuing a position at a major tech company that had been experiencing a slow down before the virus. I write, shoot, edit, and publish training videos for technicians fixing computer servers. Though, I do need to visit the office to shoot the content (images and video), most of the work can be done from home.
In my free time, lol jk. I have two small children, I have no free time. My whole day is spent trying to work, make sure the girls are still doing some school work, answering the same questions 15x (Yes, we can play the Pie in the Face game today), and so on. Teachers, you have my utmost respect. This is hard work.
I do plan on getting the Show 20 (Javy is Bae), and we'll end up watching the new Trolls movie when it's released (and others, I'm sure). At some point, we'll probably bug out of Houston and go stay with family that has some acreage so the kids can run around like crazy people with a much less chance of contracting the virus. Stay safe my friends.
Brooke: I work freelance like Tina but I work on longer jobs (TV and movies), so fingers crossed when this is over I'll go back to working on the movie we were in the middle of shooting (we made it to day 22 of 54!). I was working in Atlanta but now I'm back home in Delaware with my 71 year old mother. So far my social distancing activities have been a bit of working from home and going to Walmart to pick up my mom's favorite potato salad. (Exciting I know!).
I'm really inspired reading the rest of CubsDNA staff's plans! So far I've started an online Book Club and our first pick is Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman. I'd also like to look into taking a writing class. I've often looked at the ones offered by Sundance but for some reason they always meet during the middle of the day! On the CubsDNA front I plan to finally write about my bobblehead collection!
This past year I was lucky enough to work in Thailand, Greece, Spain and New Orleans and I took A LOT of pictures while I was there, so, I also want to work on a scrapbook. And maybe I'll do a road trip and take some pics when I get too restless. It's the beginning of spring and Dogwoods and Cherry Blossoms should be in full bloom!
And of course the thing I'm most looking forward to is A LOT of dog snuggles! Stay safe everyone!
Steve: I am able to work from home so that preoccupies eight hours of the day, which helps. I'm a mechanical engineer for a consulting company that does a lot of different train stuff. We work on designing train cars, doing research for the government, and even perform testing in our laboratory. While I'm at home working, you will find me on the computer designing parts or setting up different test files so whenever the lockdown ends, my company is ready to go for testing.
During the non-working hours there are a couple of things I like to do.
MLB The Show 20 aka The Javy Edition. This just came out a couple of weeks ago and if I can't watch baseball or go outside and play it, I can at least get my fix in by smashing homers with an All-Star lineup. (I've won 2 of the last 3 World Series (call me Theo)).
Reading. I have gotten better about picking up a book these past few years but being trapped in the house has made it even easier. I usually read non-fiction, political genre books but the last book I read is a middle grade book from John August. He is most notably known as a screenwriter (Big Fish, Go, the newest Aladdin) but now he wrote a children's trilogy, Arlo Finch. As an adult, it's a enjoyable, quick read but if you have children who like Harry Potter, this will also be enjoyable for them. All three books are out. Shout out to another author, Kamilla Benko who has written a middle grade trilogy for young girls as well as the a Frozen book that takes place between Frozen 1 and Frozen 2. All of those are very good as well.
Finally, I like to spend time hanging out with my wife and two cats. We will hangout and watch Netflix together or read on the couch.