Assorted wrapped candies

Candy. I’ve been on a sugar high as early as 10:00 a.m.

Primal Scream. Eight o’clock p.m. is the primal scream in my neighborhood, when children, parents, college students, and teleworkers open their windows and let out a guttural howl into the night sky. I don’t like to miss this daily ritual in my D.C. neighborhood, and I find it oddly calming how the shouts of the young and the old, the brash and the timid, all blend into a collective bellow. According to the New York Times, we’re not the only ones.
—Jenessa Duncombe, Staff Writer

Sir Pat Reading Shakespeare.

Leave the guilt right out and experience the pleasure of listening to the mellifluous Patrick Stewart read Shakespeare’s sonnets.
—Tshawna Byerly, Copy Editor

Pilot Peter’s Season of The Bachelor: #TeamHannahAnn. While the New York health department is cautioning the public with articles such as “Quarantine and Chill: How New Yorkers Are Mating and Dating During Coronavirus,” I have been filling my nonwork time with nature walks (avoiding people); drinking beer (thank you, home delivery services); having coffee on the lanai; and binge-watching Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. This show is so much more enjoyable than the ever-so-disappointing finale of Pilot Peter’s season on The Bachelor. #TeamHannahAnn
—Melissa Tribur, Production Specialist

Pet Pics.

Yeah, I said it. Last week a coworker shared the very important information that her cat has a habit of licking the blinds behind her desk during video meetings and followed up with an email to a dozen of us with camera evidence. That thread quickly turned into a daily pet picture update that is both an adorable interruption to my day (c’mon, look at this good girl) and a lovely way to stay a little bit connected to several people I don’t otherwise work with and used to catch up with only in common spaces at the office. Go ahead, start a pet thread. You won’t regret it.

Roll D20 to Make a Sanity Check. My weekly social interaction comes from our Dungeons and Dragons campaign, which, to be fair, started in person before the pandemic shut down the world. There are some really nice D&D sites that let your whole group log on, video chat, and interact with a virtual game board. It’s been a wonderful escape and a way to work out my anger and aggression as a level 5 Dragonborn fighter beating up monsters and trying to keep our Damsel in Distress from being kidnapped by the Evil Overlord. Life is so much simpler when you can kill it with a sword.

Making the Cut.

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I don’t follow the fashion industry, and nobody would mistake me for being fashionable. But I do appreciate the artistry and craft of designers and clothing makers, and I’ve been an avid fan of Project Runway—and especially longtime show mentor Tim Gunn—for years. So I eagerly anticipated the late March debut of Making the Cut, a new project from Gunn and original PR host Heidi Klum that’s been in the works since the pair departed PR a couple of years ago. There have been only a few episodes so far, so it remains to be seen whether MtC will prove to be an upgrade over its progenitor. My initial impression: The contestants are compelling and talented, but MtC seems to replace some of PR’s wit and substance for snark and show. Nonetheless, it mostly scratches whatever fashion itch I have, especially with PR currently between seasons.
—Timothy Oleson, Science Editor

Spinach Dip. I discovered how delicious homemade spinach dip is, and how easy it is to make it. I hope the stay-at-home order ends soon because I’ve gained 4 pounds. My simple recipe: Chop celery into very small dice (or use chopped water chestnuts) and combine with equal parts of sour cream, mayonnaise, and Greek yogurt. Add desired quantity of spinach that you’ve steamed, squeezed dry, chilled, and chopped (or use frozen spinach). Add dry Lipton or Knorr vegetable soup mix to taste. Mmm, delicious!
—Don Hendrickson, Copy Editor

Vampires and Reavers and a Ph.D. in Horribleness. Yeah, I don’t feel guilty about this one. I’ve been taking comfort in rewatching old favorites by Joss Whedon during my extended stay at home. We just finished up season 2 out of seven of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (nothing better than the original Scoobies, in my opinion), and then we’ve got Angel, Firefly (and Serenity, duh), Dollhouse, and whatever else we can get our hands on. And no rewatch marathon would be complete without the beauty of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. *I’m a leaf on the wind….*
Kimberly Cartier, Staff Writer

Fanfic. Better than canon. Fight me (anonymously).

Of Bread and Binges. Gosh, there’ve been a lot over the past month….My two very bad cats are happy that I’m home more (I think), and I don’t feel guilty about spoiling them one bit. I’ve enjoyed preparing all my own food, but my willpower has gone out the window—I ate an entire loaf of banana nut bread over one weekend! I won’t tell you what Apple’s Screen Time has been reporting, but I’ve binge-watched some really bad shows (Tiger King on Netflix) and some excellent ones as well, such as HBO’s Parade’s End and Amazon’s Fleabag, and there are gems on social media that brighten my days, such as Yo-Yo Ma’s #songsofcomfort:

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—Faith Ishii, Production Manager

The Three-Body Problem Trilogy. I devoured this series by Chinese sci-fi writer Cixin Liu. The Hugo Award–winning first installment begins with the discovery of a signal of alien intelligence. What should humanity do? The series unfolds in a truly mind-bending epic that manages to span millennia while still caring for the lives and details of each person who carries the story through to its satisfying (I thought) end. Liu wrote the first book in 2006, but the series became available to English readers only when it was translated a few years ago. I borrowed The Three Body-Problem as an e-book from the D.C. Public Library (find your local library here), and the whole series can be found on both e-book and audiobook (or check whether your local bookstore can help), so you can enjoy it all without even breaking self-isolation.
—Heather Goss, Editor in Chief

Schitt’s Creek.

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I’m way late to this party, I know, with the show wrapping up its sixth and final season this past Tuesday, but I’ve been LMAO’ing my way through the early seasons of Schitt’s Creek lately. Seriously, how’d I sleep on this show for so long? The cast, from top to bottom, is pure gold.
—Timothy Oleson, Science Editor

Up on the Roof. The roof of my house isn’t exactly meant to be sat on…it’s slightly tilted and has a sandpaper-like texture. But thanks to a ladder, an escape hatch, and a yoga mat, it’s my frequent escape from a crowded indoor living situation. The fair spring air and the occasional cardinal aren’t bad either.

Second Sleep.

That wonderful WPA poster may be on to something. Before the Industrial Revolution, peasants like us used to sleep in two shifts (biphasic sleep, ahem). I’ve rediscovered long afternoon naps, late-night TV binges, and a surprisingly decent work ethic.
—Caryl-Sue, Managing Editor


(2020), This week: Guilty pleasures to get you through quarantine, Eos, 101, Published on 10 April 2020.

Text © 2020. AGU. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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