Mike Uncorked: The Quarantine Diaries 2
By Mike Butler
Like most fabulous things that happen in the world, a sequel was bound to come out of my previous Grapevine article. I imagine a bunch of sequels will stem from this and the Quarantine Diaries will have a great following. Besides the odd walk everyday, grocery store run, or sitting on my wee patio reading, I have been inside my apartment watching the days pass by and I’m trying to stay away from the social media blitz as much as possible. I use my computer for writing and to communicate with loved ones. If you have kids at home, what a great time to show them the ins and outs of technology and the GOOD of the internet for research and communicative purposes. That’s a whole other article in itself: maybe part three?
Theatre: With theatre shut down and no productions happening, we artsy theatre folk pulled together and nothing has stopped us from performing, either solo or in a group. The power of a Zoom meeting, over the last two weeks, has brought myself and four other incredible actors together to create live stories for kids and adults. The Travelling Trunk Theatre Troupe, who’ve performed at CentreStage and in schools around the Valley, have filmed and posted three stories (so far!) that you can find on Facebook through their page or a lot of other outlets. Using standard household items like hats, blankets, and even socks for dog ears, the Travelling Trunk Theatre Troupe figured out a way to perform alone but together and online audiences love it!
If you haven’t discovered the power of Zoom, or Skype or Facetime, then get on board and find your friends for some fun. You can hold script readings, book clubs, meetings, or friendly chats. You can play music together, watch TV together, play a drinking game, and so much more. All the elements are there for a great time together and you have the benefit of not doing your hair or putting on pants! Enjoy!
Books: I am six books down since being at home and loving every minute of it. For now I am still headfirst into the mysteries of Agatha Christie, but soon I’ll move onto some of the books I obtained for Christmas including The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, author of Night Circus! I also received Akin by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the acclaimed Room and The Wonder. Bringing technology back into it, as much as I am a die-hard actual book-in-hands type of person, now is the time to go online and snag the incredible deals on ebooks, ereaders, and everything electronic. This is another way to introduce the youngsters to reading through technology. I love books and I promote literature constantly so I say by whatever means necessary! Use this time to catch up on titles but don’t forget to support bookstores when they reopen.
Movies: Nothing says quarantine fun like a trip through a classic epic or a series of films. I suggest (and if you have kids, this works great) poring through epics of yesteryear like Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the Wind, Ben-Hur, or (since it was just Easter) The Ten Commandments. Those films have such a rich history and everyone should watch them. Why not take a few days, settle in, and watch the Harry Potter series, Star Wars (all nine!), Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, or the Rambo, Rocky or Terminator series. There’s so many to choose from and it’ll pass the time and generate conversation.
And for the love of all that is holy: GO OUTSIDE BUT BE SAFE AND SMART!! You are allowed to go out and get some fresh air, walk your dog, walk your child. Enjoy what the outside has to offer, but please follow the government guidelines. I know it’s tough, believe me, I am losing my mind being away from the public right now, but that hasn’t stopped me from breathing in air outside my apartment. You can putter in the garden, beat a dirty rug, smell a tree, or just sip your coffee by an open window, but embrace the outdoors, don’t be scared of it. And if you have no fear, then just be respectful of others.
For fun projects during this time of isolation, there’s always puzzles and crossword books, and organizing photos. If you can’t go anywhere, then a trip down memory lane will have to suffice. As well, I’ve continued going through closets, nooks and crannies and getting rid of the stuff that’s been cluttering my cabinets and storage areas for the three years since I’ve been in my new place. Seize the day folks. You can also go for a nice walk or find a cozy spot and write down your thoughts about this whole experience. Keeping a diary, journal, or memory book of this often scary-weird time will be a reminder of how you embraced the moment and learned to make the most of your time. We got this everyone! Stay safe!