The Rundown | April 9-16

Another compilation of things to do while mandated not to do much

It’s really hard to socially distance from the ones we love. But right now, we really have to try. Here’s a few suggestions. | Image: Mateus Campos

GIVE THE FOLLOWING A LISTEN…

Chicks in the Office

For those of you who give AF about what celebrities are up to, who they’re dating and what drug they almost OD’d on, then we’ve found your podcast. Hosts Mia and Fran deliver a pretty interesting dish on what’s going on in pop culture and the folks within it. In addition to celebrity interviews, they take listener-submitted questions on the regular. | barstoolsports.com/shows/chicks-in-the-office/podcasts 

Scam Goddess

We’re huge fans of Laci Mosley and her knowledge of just how shady people can be. Each week, Mosley tells you about the current scams out there and how, just when you think you have a handle on the ways designed to cheat you or pull a fast one, there are other scams out there just waiting to play you for a fool. Fortunately, the Scam Goddess is up on most of them and shares tips and tricks to help keep you from becoming a sucker. | earwolf.com/show/scam-goddess/

Masterclass: Chris Voss

Usually we wouldn’t suggest you spending $90 on anything right now that isn’t food or necessities, but we found Chris Voss’ tutorial on how to get others to do what you want them to do extremely enlightening. Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator was on the front lines for years in critical negotiations and teaches you the tricks that made him one of the best in the biz. Even if you can’t foot it now, we get it, but we’ll have to say we splurged and it was worth it. | masterclass.com

Pod Save America

This podcast is for lovers of politics or even for those who would simply prefer to get political news in terms they can understand. The four-man crew of aide staff to former President Obama offers up the week in political view with an insider’s view that’s as refreshing as it is honest. Also, we like this one because they frequently host guests worth hearing from and provide a text line for you to ask your own burning questions. | crooked.com/podcast-series/pod-save-america/

Pardon My Take

Usually we would never suggest a pair of Barstool podcasts, but, like Chicks in the Office, Pardon My Take is a refreshing look at the world of sports (or sheer lack thereof, right now). Hosted by Big Cat and PFT, PMT, which drops Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, isn’t just sports but how sports really does revolve in all of the decisions made on a grand scale. Last month, the pod also had Dr. Anthony Fauci, the doctor leading the coronavirus charge on for a discussion, which blew our minds. | barstoolsports.com/shows/pardon-my-take

Jawn Appetit

After a month-long hiatus, this pod on all things the Philly restaurant scene is back and we’re probably the happiest in Philly. We’ve always appreciated this pod’s no-nonsense approach to the food industry scene as they can look beyond fine dining and give you the reasons why you should (or often should not) dine at a particular spot. This pod is usually served up once a week and its last airing was on April 1. | jawnappetit.wordpress.com/ 

WHO WE’RE FOLLOWING ON SOCIAL…

The Philly Offensive | Facebook

OK, so this page is by invitation only but once you ask to join, you’re a part of a collective that showcases the worst of Philadelphia. It’s a digital train wreck that features some of the worst language, even worse grammar and a comment section on posts worth the price of admission. It’s the saddest thing to realize just how many degenerates we have in this city, it’s even sadder to realize that because you can’t stop viewing, you actually might be one of them. | facebook.com/Fillyoffensive/ 

Now This News | Facebook

If you’ve ever watched the mini-segments on Vice, these are kind of like that, but to us just a bit more interesting. There are multiple segments uploaded to the site on a daily basis and range from two minutes to mini-docs lasting over a half-an-hour. It’s a good way to consume content and get informed while you’re staying inside and remaining safe. Well, it is for us. There’s also Politics and a channel entitled “Her,” worth watching in the Now This franchise as well. | facebook.com/NowThisNews/ 

Doug Mar | TikTok

Doug Mar is a Keystone State native who killed Vine (not literally, Vine did that all by itself) when Vine was a thing. He’s not merged to the Tik Tok platform and has been equally comical. Is his content bordering on the juvenile side of things? Sure. But can life use a little levity right now? You tell us. tiktok.com/en 

Tough Rides | YouTube

This YouTube series presented by Mojo Rides chronicles a pair of brothers who journey through the Amazon rainforest, and the towns throughout, eating the weirdest shit, sleeping in the strangest spots and will have you binge-watching their exploits in no time. It’s free to watch and each episode averages about 30 minutes in length, so you don’t have to feel too bad about being glued to your phone for hours on end. | bit.ly/PWRundownToughRides  

Image courtesy: Visit Philadelphia

Reading Terminal Market | Instagram

We know what you’re thinking: Why TF would you suggest we follow a grocery store on Instagram? Because they’re killing it on Instagram in the age of COVID-19 right now. With videos showcasing the local merchants with fresh produce for sale and with vital information on delivery orders, great imagery promoting the local businesses inside and a constant stream of good content, there’s no wonder their orders have increased nearly 30 times over. | instagram.com/rdgterminalmkt/

Stef .C. Photo | Instagram

The Philly-based photographer has been killing it for a minute, but we’ve really been into her work over the last month. She’s finding the angles of iconic Philly that open our minds and have us repeatedly saying, “wow, I’ve never seen [insert Philly icon] quite like that before.” We’re also a fan of Stef because, even though she’s savvy with the camera phone, every now and again a 35mm image will appear on her IG that adds an extra layer of jaw-dropping to what she’s able to capture. | instagram.com/stef.c.photo/ 

WHAT WE’RE PLAYING

Chances are you have a game – or 58 – on your phone to pass the time when you don’t really have time to do anything better. These days, you might have a lot of time on your hands. That’s why we’re bringing you some of digitaltrends.com’s picks for best iPhone games. The site has a bunch from which to choose. Here are our favorites:

Homicide Squad: New York Cases

Digital Trends describes it as a hidden object game that has a couple of wise-cracking detectives – we’re imagining Lenny Briscoe and John Munch from “Law & Order” – who solve crimes in the Big Apple. You’ll be examining murder scenes and, with luck and skill, catching the bad guy in no time at all. You have to pay to recharge your energy, but it’s still fun for the casual player.

Retro Highway

If you’re into racing games, this one could be for you. Digital Trends says there are both challenges to complete and the opportunity to compete with buddies or anyone else who’s stuck inside and happens to be playing the game. There is a variety of bikes from which to choose, and you can customize them as you see fit.

Undead Horde

Digital Trends reports a $6 price tag on this entry, but the great part is you get to play the bad guy. So if you find yourself cheering the heels of the WWE, it might be worth the investment. Build your band of zombies and attack the living! From a practical view, we’re not sure what the world will look like after a few more weeks of self-isolation, but this could be good practice for life as we’re about to know it.

Gods of Boom

You shoot people. Yep, that’s about it, but it’s better to shoot people in a game instead of actually, you know, shooting someone in real life. As kind of a reverse play for Undead Horde, you can shoot zombies. Like with most of these games, you play with friends and can upgrade and customize your character

Stardew Valley

Let’s slow things down for a moment. For those of you who prefer a more relaxed gaming experience, this one could be for you. Digital Trends describes it as a basic farming game with a twist. You can visit nearby Pelican Town to mingle and even find someone to marry – assuming social distancing mandates haven’t been imposed by Pelican Town leaders. There’s an $8 price on this game.

Brutal Hockey

Finally one for the sports fan, who by now is really, really missing sports on TV. Digital Trends describes the game as one for the casual hockey fan, and says “the only goal is to score, and you’re allowed to use any means necessary to get there.” Our mind immediately went to “Slap Shot” when one of the Hanson brothers, we don’t remember which one, declared it was time to play “old-time hockey.” However, we’re pretty sure Eddie Shore isn’t a character you can play in the game.

HOW WE’RE DATING

One of the first rules of dating online is that, for your first face-to-face encounter, you meet in a public place for, say, coffee. Welp, that ain’t happening these days.

So how should you connect with that special someone you met online? How do you keep a budding romance going? Here are a few tips:

Chat more

We found a bunch of dating experts – or at least self-proclaimed dating experts – online and virtually all agreed that now is an ideal time to talk more and meet less. Since you really can’t, or shouldn’t, meet up in person, spend extra time getting to know each other. Talk about dreams, goals, likes, dislikes, etc. Actually, this isn’t bad advice even when there’s not a virus spreading through society.

Watch a movie together

This requires a bit more ingenuity than normal, but it’s still relatively easy to pull off. In a nutshell, you both watch the same movie on your favorite streaming platform, while also talking on the phone, using FaceTime or, in a pinch, texting. It’s not the same as being at the movies, but you also aren’t paying $27 for a box of popcorn.

Sexting/video chatting

Again, way, way different from actually being in the same room together, but a somewhat viable option given our current circumstances. As Dan Savage – the GOAT when it comes to sex advice – said in last week’s column in PW: “Sext messages and dirty video chats are both allowed and encouraged, kids, so we can get off online with new people as well as established partners who live on the other side of town or the other side of the world. Hell, get the whole gang together on Zoom – just don’t actually get together (or get under) anyone you don’t live with.” 

AMA sessions

An offshoot of chatting more, it’s pretty much just a deeper dive. We all know there are questions we want to ask someone on a first, second or third date, but don’t when we’re face-to-face because we’re worried the other person might toss their drink in our face or just storm off. Here’s your chance to ask those questions without risking public humiliation. Both parties come up with a list of questions and schedule a time to video chat. Then let the fun begin.

Prepare yourself

This is more of a friendly reminder than a tip. These days, some of us probably don’t shower until the dog starts to look at us funny. Appearance and personal hygiene aren’t priorities when you’re locked in a house or apartment for days on end. However, if you’re planning any kind of video interaction, in the name of God look decent. First impressions still count, even online.

Send stuff

File this under “keeping an existing relationship alive” category. If you’ve been dating for a while and you know where the other person lives, sending flowers, food or another appropriate gift – or inappropriate gift, if your relationship has gone to that level – no doubt will brighten someone’s day. And if you order from a small business, you’ll be helping the local economy as well.

HOW WE’RE STAYING IN SHAPE

The gyms are closed and you don’t burn many calories pressing your TV’s remote or curling a bottle of your favorite beverage. Here are a few tips to keep from getting too flabby during the lockdown:

Go outside

At the time we wrote this, it was still permissible to leave your house to walk or jog – as long as you avoided walking or jogging with groups of strangers. The weather is getting better and the fresh air will do you some good. 

Online help

If you’re not exactly self-motivated to get into shape, check for local online trainers. There are lots of professionals, but, during these times, many folks are sharing their training talents for free on social media and elsewhere. It’s not the same as working one-on-one with someone in a gym, but it might be enough to get you moving.

Watch what you eat

If you normally eat healthy to maintain your shapely figure, that advice goes double during this lockdown. Chances are, you’re not moving around as much in your daily life – walking up stairs or through a parking lot to get to work, for example. And if you went to a gym, you’re not going now. So, the lockdown has reduced the number of calories you would burn during normal times. Reduce the number of calories you’re taking in to help balance that.

Schedule a time to work out

Carve out 15, 30, 60 minutes, whatever, a day to exercise. Even when we’re not self-isolating, the pros recommend making exercise a regular part of your daily routine. Now that we’re locked inside and losing track of time, following a schedule is even more important.

Buy a jump rope

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but it’s also a great exercise that both builds muscle tone and improves your cardio. However, if you live in an apartment or condo that isn’t on the first floor, you might want to do this exercise outside. Your downstairs neighbors will appreciate it.

Ask grandpa

Back in the good old days, people didn’t have all these fancy gizmos to keep in shape. It snowed every day, and they had to walk 20 miles, barefoot, uphill both ways to school. They pulled the plow when their mule was too tired to till the fields. If they wanted more, they did pushups, sit-ups and jumping jacks. They did squats and then one-legged squats. Ask grandad for some tips – and then get off his lawn.