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It feels weird using the word “awesome” to describe these past two months in the Twilight Zone known as quarantine. It feels so weird, in fact, that I actually started writing this piece for March, and then chickened out, feeling that it would be tone deaf and too frivolous. So, for the time being, let’s just call this “Months in Review”.

I think we could all use some entertainment suggestions right now. Here is a super-sized list of things that either distracted me or made me feel a little more like “me” over the past two months, even with all of the craziness going on. (You’ll notice there are no books on this list. I’m putting together a special post on favorite reads later this month.)

What I’ve been watching:

Some Good News: John Krasinski is a national treasure. The latest proof of this indisputable fact is a gem of a weekly YouTube series entitled Some Good News, in which Jim Halpert himself shares uplifting videos and stories and makes people’s dreams come true through a mix of celebrity appearances, charitable donations, and awesome events like prom and graduation. Keep making your fellow attractive Polish New Englanders proud, JKras!

Community:  Community is finally on Netflix, folks! This super snarky, bizarre sitcom is perfect for quarantine binge watching, because almost every episode parodies a different pop culture genre. You don’t have to watch every episode, or the episodes in order, either. Note: It is a little strange rewatching it now knowing where several of the actors are now. Donald Glover (Troy) is halfway to an EGOT, and the Simba to Beyonce’s Nala. Meanwhile, Joel McHale hosted the absolutely horrifying Tiger King “bonus” episode. (Do not watch that episode. It is far more disturbing that the rest of the series, through no fault of Joel McHale.)

What I’ve been listening to:

Niall Horan, Heartbreak Weather: I don’t know much about the guys from One Direction, but I do know two things: 1) Backstreet Boys are still the greatest boy band of all times; and 2) Niall Horan is my favorite 1D member. I absolutely adore this album. It is the perfect blend of 1980’s pop and 2000’s singer/songwriter guitar ballads.

Mandy Moore, Silver Landings: I’m kind of glad This Is Us finished for the season early on in this quarantine, because I don’t think I could handle that fictional emotional rollercoaster on top of this real-world craziness. Mandy Moore’s Silver Landings album has been a great soundtrack during this time, though. Listening to these songs feels like wearing a flowy dress and floppy hat, and walking through how I picture southern California.

What I’m playing:

The Sims 4: Hi, I’m Megan, and I’ve been obsessed with The Sims on and off again for about 20 years (oddly about the same amount of time I’ve been listening to Mandy Moore’s music). When I saw Sims 4 was on sale for only $4.99 last month, I knew I had to have it. If you are unfamiliar with the franchise, I’ll put it bluntly: This is a computer game where you create and control people and relationships in a borderline-creepy godlike fashion. Some people think it’s funny to make their Sims miserable and suffer. Others (okay, I) always dress their Sims in trendy outfits they themselves would be way too self-conscious to wear, and get a strange sense of satisfaction whenever the characters exercise or do laundry or wash dishes or get a promotion. (See, I’m being indirectly productive!)

The New York Times Crossword: For my birthday this January, I treated myself to a digital New York Times subscription, complete with the crossword puzzle add-on. Best. Gift. Ever. I love having the puzzles right on my phone to work on if I need a momentary break from the gift/curse of toddler TV programming. And, like the pride I get from my athletic Sims’ achievements, I also feel like I’m getting a bit smarter each time I complete a puzzle!

What has been giving you a much-needed break during these past few months? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

And finally, a note to all those who are on the front lines: Thank you. Thank you so much for your bravery, selflessness and resolve. You are the awesome ones right now.

(Please note: There are affiliate links in the above post. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Image credit: Pexels 

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