Quarantine Diversion Kit #1

When it comes to totally random diversions, trust the experts.

Chances are you could use some totally random diversions to take your mind off, um, all the things. You’re in luck, because when it comes to totally random diversions ... we are EXPERTS.

1. Donate to a restaurant worker's relief fund

The service economy is getting killed. Several funds are springing up similar to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation’s new COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund for restaurant workers. Also, some good news, there are a stunning number of ways to help out people in need. NYC people, check out this expansive list of volunteer and donation options.

2. Live Stream DJs

Turns out a DJ really can save your life. It’s time to live stream music for your own personal house party. Stay inside and help support club staff at the same time via these options or on Twitch or thelotradio.com.

3. Embrace the Puzzle Lifestyle

Screen overload? We’ve been starting (and finishing) varied puzzles this week, and they are the perfect cheap, available, group-oriented remedy.

4. Bake 

Our good friend and professional food photographer Julia Gartland assembled a robust list of quarantine self care ideas. Among the many inspirations is a nice list of baking recipes, including “Salted Chocolate Tahini Thumbprint Cookies” and “Kabocha Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate.”

5. Read a Graphic Novel

Tom King recently completed a superlative, groundbreaking series centered on superhero escape artist Mister Miracle, but there are so many to choose from: the midcentury musings of Clyde Fans, a heartbreaking ode to Pittsburgh, and the Cronenberg-esque Immortal Hulk.

6. Sample Shows You Were on the Fence About

Imagine you’re a big shot TV executive, then choose 4-5 first episodes of shows you’ve heard about (but were afraid to invest in) for your own personal pilot season. How about shadowy, slightly-too-close-to-home technothriller Devs? Or somewhat-closer-to-home High Maintenance? Or way-to-close-to-home modern classic Battlestar Galactica? Or unsung gems like The Sinner, Lodge 49, and the much-lauded Bojack Horseman?

7. Go Deep on An Educational Podcast

There are so many to choose from, but we’ve been digging Something Rhymes With Purple, a words and language podcast hosted by TV presenter Susie Dent and professional pickled ham Gyles Brandreth. Easy to listen to and delightfully informative, akin to the literature class you loved in school. 

Bonus points if you dive into BBC’s In Our Time, which is about the deepest dive you will ever take into subjects like “The Evolution of Horses” and “Mary Magdalene.” Also check out this recent episode of 99% Invisible, where host Roman Mars takes you on a very entertaining tour of his house.

8. Subscribe to Something

Paywalls have come down, which is good. But because news is so easy to get and consume, we forget the hidden costs of information gathering (especially in an emergency). Consider a subscription and help out the media industry. Wired has done some exceptional reportage this month, as have The Atlantic, The Guardian, VICE, and many others. Or break it up and try out:

9. Facetime Wine Date

It works, especially for friends and family living on other coasts and other countries. Which reminds us …

10. Try a Beverage You’ve Never Tried

Small grocers, bars, and restaurants need our help more than ever.  And, let’s be frank, happy hours across have been edging their way up the clock. Is a local restaurant offering take-out meals with drinks (like the recent arrangement in New York)? Is a brewpub offering growlers for pick up? Does the corner store stock contents that could make an intriguing cocktail? Take a walk, respect entry rules, and let’s drink our way out of this crisis! ‘Merica!

11. Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

We’ve had the pleasure of working on an app with this genius storyteller (and Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence), and he’s inviting folks into his home studio over the next few weeks to mess about, have fun, and create!

12. It’s Time to Bring Back Games, Big Time

Got a partner, roommates, and/or no-symptoms neighbors? Maybe dust off the card deck and (re)learn a classic like euchre (the official card game of the Midwest). Explore all the free demos from Steam’s indie festival, or revisit our winter game recommendations.

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