Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sam's Weekly Quarantine Digest #31: October 26, 2020

 Hi all,

Apologies for the delay here - I'm on the verge of hopefully being able to share some exciting news, but in the meantime, suffice it to say that it's been a truly crazy couple of weeks!  I'm off from work this week, just hanging out with my family in Westchester, so I'm catching up on my emails and have loads of entertainment options for you this week.  This coming weekend is both Halloween and the end of Daylight Savings Time, which means that we get an extra hour of mischief this year.

The past few months have been utterly exhausting for me, and I hadn't realized how very little downtime I've had to indulge in activities that refresh my energy level and make me feel excited and free.  I'm on vacation this week, and I kicked it off by playing several hours of video games on Saturday.  Among other games, I stumbled upon my DJ Hero turntables and pulled them out, only to find that my muscle (and musical) memory had not betrayed me.  I rocked out until my wrists were screaming in pain, and I went to bed giddily content.  That game has some of the best music I've ever heard.  Period.  It's also a wonderful tribute to the true fathers of hip-hop, like Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Moe Dee, and Grandmaster Flash (who serves as a sort of host/MC throughout the game).  The only thing missing would be for DJ Kool Herc to be in the mix.  (If you're interested in the history behind all of this, or if you don't recognize these names, I recommend this book.)

My point is that we all need time every now and then to do something that truly speaks to our soul - something that makes all our cares and worries melt away for a moment and that makes us feel complete, even if the feeling is only ephemeral.  Some of you may know this feeling as "flow" - it's a similar concept.  If you, like me, have been struggling to find that during the pandemic, take a look around and see if you can find something that used to give you that feeling.  Perhaps it's painting, or playing the keyboard, or writing a story, or reading a truly great book, or kicking butt at your favorite game, or playing with Legos, or cooking a fantastic gourmet meal.  Whatever it is, give yourself a chance to indulge.  Especially with the winter months quickly approaching, you'll have plenty of time indoors - make the most of it!

Previous digests can be found on my blog at thatsthewaythecookiecrumbles.com.  If you have suggestions or would like to stop receiving these emails, just let me know.


Early voting runs from October 24 through November 1 in New York - check here to confirm your early polling site (and your regular polling site too). Your early site is likely not the same as your normal polling site, so be sure to check first. These locations will be open longer to allow time for logistics and social distancing.

  • The Brite Nites pumpkin display in New Jersey has been converted to a drive-through experience this year, and it looks amazing!  The display is complete with a T-Rex and a giant dragon.
  • Gravesend Inn: Virtual Haunted House Experience - the Gravesend Inn is an. annual haunted house, but they're foregoing the in-person experience this year in favor of a virtual escape-room experience instead.  Check their website for details.
  • Bayville Scream Park in Long Island is open this year, supposedly following social distancing guidelines put out by the state for all haunted houses.  They even host "not-so-scary" kids' days.
  • BAMboo!: BAM's annual Halloween carnival for kids transforms into a digital experience this year, complete with a costume contest and all sorts of fun activities for kids.  Check out the details here.
  • Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan is hosting the BFPL Digital Halloween Bash, complete with musical performances, a puppet show, a magician (Mario the Maker Magician), and a kids' food festival.
  • Halloween at Hogwarts: Tiny Broadway has put together a class that will test your kid (ages 5-12) in charms, potions, divination, and transfiguration.
  • The New York Public Library is hosting an online literary-themed costume contest, with the winner selected by none other than Tim Gunn this Friday.

Other Entertainment: Lots of dance this week!
  • This is the last week of the NYCB Fall Season, featuring their New Works Festival.  Tune in each night this week at 8pm for a premiere of a new work, filmed in various locations on the Lincoln Center campus and throughout NYC.  The Saturday premiere is by one of my favorite choreographers, Justin Peck.  Access the streams on Facebook, YouTube, and the NYCB's website.
  • Just a reminder that the Fall for Dance Festival is happening this week, and the videos will be available online through November 1.  This is one of my favorite dance events of the year, and I always look forward to it.  You can purchase virtual tickets to access the streams for $15 each here.
  • This short ballet video is an absolutely breathtaking feat of strength and beauty.
  • Try drawing cartoons - this book will teach you how, step by step.  I have no drawing talent, but I had a book just like this one when I was a kid and it actually worked reasonably well!
  • Do you also get nostalgic when you see the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile?  Read these stories from the drivers bravely escorting the beloved hot-dog-on-wheels across the country.
  • Wondering if it's weird that you miss going to the officeIt's not.
  • In the mood to see a magic trick?  Did you know that a Corgi mixed with any other breed just looks like a Corgi dressed up for Halloween?
  • Looking for some variety in your daily puppy-photo montage?  (Am I the only one who needs that?)  Check out the Kangaroo Sanctuary on Instagram, or polar bear live cams at Polar Bear International or Explore.org.
  • Miss travel?  Check out these scenes of far-off places, constructed entirely from cut-up postcards.
  • The New York Public Library is offering personalized book recommendations for your family.  Just fill out the online request form or call Ask NYPL and you'll receive a list of suggested books based on your interests and preferences.  You can then follow up by picking up a bundle of five of those recommended books at your local branch.
  • Can't stop thinking about the election?  Channel your nerves by reading a good book about the election to provide some structure.  The NYPL has recommended reading lists for kids, teens, and adults.
  • Kurzgesagt is a German animation studio that has a channel on YouTube with lots of science-related videos that explain such things as red dwarfs, black holes and neutron stars, as well as philosophical questions like the meaning of life.  See you at the bottom of the rabbit hole!

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