Friday 5 for April 17: Silver

1. What was the last thing you purchased second-hand?

Right before we all went on lockdown, I was buying a lot of secondhand Chico’s Traveler’s line shirts.

I like them because even though, yes, they are acetate and microplastics, they last for a million years. The one that I originally bought, I purchased in 2008 – so it’s 11 years old – and it still looks as good as I did when I bought it. So, I’m buying a piece that could have ended up in a landfill otherwise and will last forever.

I have about 6 pieces now in my wardrobe. And if I ever get to be seen by the public again, I’ll probably slowly replace more finicky pieces in my wardrobe with new secondhand peices from this line.

2. What’s a dish you cannot resist a second helping of?

Homemade spaghetti. It’s a comfort meal to begin with, so I usually end up eating a pound of cooked pasta in a sitting.

3. How many seconds can you go right now without blinking?

Now that you’re actually asking, zero seconds.

4. Whose second album is much better than their debut album?

Music is not one of my high hobbies, so I had to get a little bit of help with this question.

And though Nirvana is not for me, and I will turn them off whenever they come up on Spotify, I will wholeheartedly agree that Nevermind was the album that not only cemented their credibility as a band, but was a landmark change in music. Period. No one talks about Bleach. Everyone I know in my generation still has Nevermind in their music catalog, even if they never listen to it.

5. What’s something for which you were runner-up?

Any job that I was a candidate for that I lost to anyone else, I suppose. No other discrete times come to mine.


Bosch is dropping it’s 6th season on Friday.

I found Bosch last year, and it became my “while I’m flying” show — because that was a thing we could all do before The ‘Rona. I’d basically watch it as I was on flights across the country, as it was one of the few shows I could binge-watch for a few hours and not get bored with.

Girl loves a procedural, and this hits all the marks: decent story, good characters, easy-on-the-eyes lead actor. It’s total Julz-nip.

So anyway, obviously I’m not flying anywhere soon, and I’ve been really looking forward to it coming back. I’m clearly going to watch it at home, but I have to fight the urge to watch the entire season in a single sitting.


Photo by Tom D.

Today is Day 28 of stay-at-home orders.

The irony and upside of sheltering in place is that it gave me the perfect holiday – I can stay home, but I can still see and talk to friends and family.

Two separate virtual meetings with both sides of the family: one using Zoom, the other using Google Hangouts.

The verdict: Google Hangouts is way better.

Charlie put together a huge Easter spread for just the two of us. Ham (just for him), green bean casserole, leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving, cranberry sauce, noodles, sweet potatoes. We are blessed with a ridiculous abundance of leftovers, and honestly, it makes me feel a little guilty. If you are local and want some extras, I will leave you a small care package on the front porch.

We are now planning a playdate between all of The Brothers.

Friday 5 for April 10: Excitement in the domicile

We’ve largely recovered from the tornado, at least here at The Apiary. Charlie fired up and did set up service on the new generator, and now it sits, gassed up and oil changed, in the garage, waiting to be called into service.

But hopefully never needed.

And of course, the weather in Cleveland is going through puberty, so the day after our Wizard of Oz-like adventures, it’s been cold and snowy.

So, onwards to this week’s Friday 5.

1. In what way have you recently been naughty?

Naturalizer was having a pretty solid 40% off sale, so I bought three new pairs of shoes. How bougie can you be during a pandemic?

  • A new pair of black heels to replace the ones I’ve had for at least 12 years, and are looking super ratty.
  • A pair of nude sandals that I can wear with summery dresses.
  • A pair of (beshitted) flats, in the event I wreck my toe (again), and need to wear flats.

2. What’s the closest you’ve been to death-defying these past few weeks?

I left the house on Wednesday to go downtown to the office to actually get work done with the post-tornado power-outtage. In the time of Coronavirus, that’s both the most, and least death-defying one can get.

3. What temptations have you recently resisted?

Let’s talk about what I haven’t resisted temptation-wise — chewing on my fingernails and picking at my toenails. Every single one of my digits looks right now like I manicured them with a belt sander.

4. What’s something you wish you didn’t recently see?

In the tamest sense ever: Charlie loves to turn on the TV and then ignore it. He’ll then dither on his phone, or walk out of the room, start a project, etc. He did it this morning and set the TV to some visually-broadcasted entertainment pox called the Laff Channel, and it was playing “America’s Funniest Videos.”

I ended up “watching” that garbage for a good 15 minutes before I realize that he’d done That Thing He Does and had abandoned me to this entertainment hellscape.

And I say this as someone that fully admits to spending 8 hours yesterday watching Adam Savage’s “Tested”: I want that 15 minutes of my life back.

5. What behavior from others are you excusing nowadays?

Look, I’m non-confrontational to a fault. So, just ignoring the unwashed masses by and large is pretty much status quo right now.


2020.04.08 – Post Tornado

Today is Day 22 of stay-at-home orders.

COVID-19-induced-anxiety or no, I’ve not been falling asleep lately. It’s taken me at least 30 minutes (when usually, I can zonk in about 5). And for the record: NO, I’m not going to blame my luxuriously decadent post-lunch, working-from-home comas on this either.

I think I’d been asleep for maybe about 20 minutes when Charlie shook me awake last night.

“Get in the basement, there’s a tornado coming.”

Thank God Rox was still on the bed next to me, rather than off doing her Nightime Cat Stuff(TM). I scooped her up and struggled to put on pajama pants at the same time that horribly tinny Emergency Alert Service warning hit both of our phones. I feel only a little bad that I had to wrestle her suddenly-Jello-body into the carrier as we made our way downstairs.

Midway down the basement stairs, the tornado siren located a block from our house started going off. I could hear both the siren and the storm raging. From our basement safety location, I could only listen and hope that even if we didn’t make it through unscathed, the damage would be mitigateable.

I don’t know if I had been asleep with earplugs in for the actual tornado, it it was so close that the sounds were indistinguishable from each other. All I know is that it was loud, terrifying and unrelenting.

Charlie followed AJ on the Fox 8 app through the tornado – who, by the way, sounded about as shaken tracking the tornado as we were going through it – and at some point, the tornado siren stopped and we felt safe enough to emerge from the basement. Not safe enough to move back to the second floor or let the cat out of her carrying case, but safe enough not to spend the rest of the night in the basement.

The storm still raged on for a while, and the whole house lost power at about 12:30. Laying in the dark under my weighted blanket on The World’s Most Uncomfortable Couch for Sleeping, I could hear the eerie sounds of multiple transformers exploding. It’s a sound I can’t really describe, but I will always know it when I hear it.

This morning, I did the pits-n-bits bath (no power = no hot water), brushed my teeth, put on makeup and actually sojurned downtown to get the little bit of necessary work done that I needed to for my client. At the same time, Charlie was on the hunt to find a generator, because there’s no time to Doomsday prep like when the horse has already left the barn, eh?

I did try to stop on the main drag in Medina to pick up some Wendy’s, and both it and my backup plan (McDonald’s) were still without power as I made my way back home. However, when I did get home, Charlie was there (with shiny new generator found in North Olmsted), and pointing out that the power was back on.

We are 90% sure that the actual path of the tornado was up the state highway one road over from our house: huge, old trees were either ripped up by their roots or twisted off in the middle. The Square was closed to traffic, that route was closed to traffic, and we had to make huge loops around the city to get to the north to buy gas & oil for our shiny new generator, and get something to eat since we couldn’t open the fridge for fear of losing power.

A ton of photos from the storm can be found on

We were incredibly lucky: only a little bit of siding pulled away from the house. We had what was once a beautiful cotton tree taken down last fall as it had shuffled across this mortal coil, and I’m glad we did. That sucker would have gone right through the house if it was still on the property.

I’m also glad that the fridge stayed cold while the power was off. Charlie had just gone grocery shopping yesterday — in coronavirus, mind you — and I was going to be hella pissed if we had to throw out brand new eggs, milk, and the leftover proteins we’d been cooking and eating during quarantine.