Corona Confinement – The Big Q: #45

The Big Quarantine – Thursday, April 30, 2020

Happy to report that if March was the longest month ever, April was the shortest.

But here’s a joke:

Q: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

A: Pilgrims

And now on with the show…

The Day In Grocery Shopping: Going to the grocery has stabilized. It still isn’t the easy errand it once was, but once you’ve got your mask (or not if science isn’t your thing), the store is humming along. I even saw the brand Lysol for the first time in weeks. It was toilet bowl cleaner, but it’s a start. I spent a lot of time maneuvering around  the “E-commerce” staff, as Kroger now calls them. These are the people who look for products people have ordered on line and they comprise most of the foot traffic. Also, can someone come up with a better name for the Click-List order fulfillers? I’m voting for Shop-a-teers!

Although I’m getting used to going out to the grocery, the first few minutes when I’m back in my apartment all I can think about is, “Welp, that was my last trip out. Some people go out in a blaze of glory and I’m going down getting a good deal on Easter Candy.”

The Day in Art: I’ve been a bit over-whelmed at the sheer number of interactive and virtual entertainment and education options that have sprung up in the last several weeks to keeps artists, organizations, and patrons connected. On one hand I feel like I’m missing some great opportunities and on the other hand, I just don’t have the energy to participate. This is a shame because in real life I’m a real geek for live music, lectures, discussions, tours, non-fiction books, and every historical sign ever placed anywhere. I’ve never met a plaque that didn’t require my attention.

Today I took the advice of a friend and joined The Cincinnati Art Museum’s 3 o’clock discussion of Edward Timothy Hurley’s 1911 painting “The Midnight Mass,” a portrayal of Mt. Adams and the Immaculata Church. The discussion compared this painting to Frances Farrand Dodge’s 1920 painting “Pavilion St., Mt. Adams” which portrays Pavilion Street looking toward the other church in Mt. Adams, the Holy Cross Monastery.

Midnight Mass is one of my favorite paintings to gaze upon when I visit the Art Museum. It is a muted, atmospheric piece that invites a moment of introspection. It reminds me of the day-for-night camera filter that I’ve seen used in movies for scenes that are supposed to be taking place in the dead of night. The filter allows the audience to see the action but mutes the day light. Midnight Mass is both a painting portraying a nighttime scene and a smoggy hillside where the pollutants of the early industrial age fill the air.

I’m happy to have joined this talk and hope to have the energy and wherewithal to join more. This confinement is going to end, but I think these virtual events are going to continue.  I like the ones I have attended, in part, because they are short, rarely over an hour which is a my complete Covid attention span. For good or bad, the discussions are sparsely attended (today’s had 7 attendees) and I’ve really gotten a kick seeing who’s in my demographic on some of the topics I’ve picked. Turns out (spoiler alert…) I’m an old, educated white woman. That’s seems about right.

Pavilion St.
Pavilion St., Mt. Adams

The Day in Porcupine (meat)Balls [Update]: I’m sure you’ve been waiting for breaking news on the Porcupine Ball front. Two things. First, my aunt has chimed in to report Grandma used to make Porcupine Meatballs in a pressure cookers well before my Mom started making them for us. Glad to know the family ties to this recipe run deep and to know my Grandma was slightly more gentile than the Porcupine BALL gigglers she spawned.

And second, I had planned to make a side dish of Brussels sprouts and serve the Balls over cauliflower rice. I pulled the dish out of the oven and I’d eaten three of them right out of the casserole dish before I even knew what happened. Um…I’ll try pull myself together and serve them properly tonight!


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