Making the Covid-Grade

tom smith

making the covid-grade—tom smith—may 2020

I hope all the Wisconsin residents who are reading this have made it through the first half of the Safer At Home order that has currently been extended to May 26th safe and sound. I hope my advice in last month's Frankly Green Bay in regards to how to occupy yourself with your extra hours at home was of some assistance. Since Wisconsin students are currently learning from home, I figure it would be fair to grade myself on how I followed my own advice.

#1 Watch the movie Stir Crazy: Grade = F. I have yet to watch this movie during the shutdown.

#2 Clean the music/junk room in your house: Grade = A. This was probably the hardest task I ever took on and accomplished in my life. I worked almost round the clock on the room for the first two weeks. I pulled out forty grocery bags of recycling, five bags of garbage (which is the same number of titles Lombardi won as the coach of the Packers), a forty-six pound bag of papers needing shredding, and a whole lot of promotional CDs that I realized I do not need to own. I was severely disappointed to not find a Secret of NIMH-type world in a pile of clutter. No household pet corpses found, but plenty of stale candy. I'm also the proud owner of numerous gift certificates for defunct Green Bay businesses. The amount of time and energy it took to finish this room affected my grades in the rest of these classes.

#3 Clean your oven: Grade = F. Ah, I will get to this by May 26th. I'd like to think this grade is more an Incomplete than an F, and I will be talking to the professor about it. I hope this goes better than the one time at UWGB when I asked R.J. Stevens to increase my grade in a biology class.

#4 Do the dishes Saturday and Sunday nights while listening to 'Old Time Radio Drama' on Wisconsin Public Radio, 88.1: Grade = A. I passed this with flying colors. I even got to hear Wisconsin native, Brother Orson Welles reprising his role as Harry Lime from The Third Man.

#5 Put your CDs back in alphabetical order: Grade = C-. I'm currently in the process of removing CDs that I no longer deem worthy of being in my collection. I needed to do this first in order to make room for the unfiled CDS to fit into the collection.

#6 Go through your vinyl collection to pull non-essentials, replace with more recent, better albums: Grade = F. Yeah, I haven't got to this yet.

#7 Practice trombone from balcony: Grade = F. I decided against this because I was fearful that my ferocious fandom for the New Day would cause my saliva to hit the neighbor's house, possibly infecting them if I had Covid-19, so I didn't do it.

#8 Move Christmas tree from 2017 into cleaned music room: Grade = A. Mission accomplished!

#9 Plan a vacation to a city I've never visited: Grade = F. I haven't found the time to put any thought into this, I think I'll do this in baby steps and first work up the energy to get a drive-through order of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

#10 Cook something you've never cooked before/Time Bomb's Hot Pizza: Grade = F. Since I haven't cleaned the oven yet, I haven't cooked a pizza. Also I don't know that I own flour in order to make the dough.

#11 Train the cats to fight to Star Trek fight music: Grade = F. This dream is still not realized.

#12 Re-watch the reboot of Battlestar Galactica in its entirety: Grade = C. Currently in the middle of season two. Jeez, it's not looking good for Chief and Helo, is it? Also Michelle Forbes kicks ass as Admiral Cain.

#13 Alter sleep pattern to catch “Mannix,” “Cannon,” and “Barnaby Jones” airings between 1 and 4 AM: Grade = D+. I started out doing really great at this, especially while I was cleaning my music room round the clock, but things like working yourself until you're exhausted and still going into work six days a week and, unfortunately, going in to work earlier than usual caused my sleep patterns to go in the wrong direction, and now I'm waking up hours earlier than usual without the use of an alarm clock. Sadly, I have been barely getting through the 10 pm showing of Magnum, P.I. on Charge.

Hopefully I'll be able to complete the rest of these tasks before the end of the Memorial Day weekend. I found some hair dye that I purchased in 2005, I have yet to find out if I should avoid using it. One thing I can tell you for sure that I've learned from the last month is if you find a bag of M&Ms that's 15+ years old, the story does not have a happy ending. Furthering the disappointment was that the bag of M&Ms I found was part of a boxed piggy bank set, and the amount of M&Ms in there was the most filled bag of M&Ms I've ever seen, it was nearly busting at the seams. To find them inedible nearly broke my heart.

The extension of the Safer At Home order had modifications to how non-essential businesses are able to serve their customers, the main thing being curb side service. The Exclusive Company Green Bay started offering curb side service April 24th, hours for service are Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Customers can call the store during these hours or email the store at with inquiries.

I would like to mention some other outstanding small local businesses that are offering special services or hours during this pandemic. I'd like to start off by mentioning the other great record store in Green Bay, Rock N' Roll Land at 504 W Military Ave. Both The Exclusive Company and Rock N' Roll Land due to current conditions, saw our biggest day of the year, Record Store Day, be postponed from April 18th to June 20th, and now spread over these three dates, 8/29, 9/26. and 10/24. Rock N' Roll Land also has curbside pickup hours Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and every other Saturday starting May 2nd, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rock N' Roll Land also offers free shipping to Wisconsin residents. Their products are also available at In addition they currently have $20 grab bags of used records available through curbside pickups. Rock N' Roll Land also wants to tell their many loyal customers, “Thank You for the support through this, see you all soon.” Todd Magnuson—co-owner and co-founder of Rock N' Roll Land— is not only one of the most passionate music fans in Green Bay, but is also one of its nicest residents. Please say thank you to Todd for all his hard work during these troubling times by helping to support his business.

The next business I'm going to mention is fairly new, and of course starting a business and having this all go down very early in your history is definitely a mountain to overcome. The business I'm referring to is Lion's Mouth Bookstore, located at 401 N Washington Street in Green Bay. The Lion's Mouth is Green Bay's newest independent bookstore, located downtown along the city deck. They feature new and used books, and at this time offer free delivery within Brown County, and ship at the media mail rate of $4 for the first book and $2 each additional book, nationwide. They get their used books from their customers and offer a trade credit for selected used books. They ask that anyone looking to sell their used books limit the amount to one box or bag at a time. Lion's Mouth Bookstore is taking orders, with curbside pickup available Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and their free deliveries within Brown County will be completed Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. They are currently looking at opening on Saturdays as well after May 16th, look for details and updates on their website and Facebook page. Their owner, Amy Mazariello, is also another hardworking, passionate business owner who deserves our support.

Cheesesteak Rebellion, located at 1301 S Broadway Street in Green Bay, whom I featured in Frankly Green Bay a few months back, has a special curbside menu. They are currently open Wednesday through Saturday, with lunch available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and as always, let the food be with you.

The last local business I want to mention today Bosse's News & Tobacco, located at 220 Cherry Street in downtown Green Bay. This place is very near and dear to my heart. I have been shopping there for five decades and have many fond memories of buying comic books at their previous location right across from Kellogg Bank (yeah, I know it's Associated now). Some of my most cherished DC comics were purchased at this location. Bosse's was established in 1898, so not only would they be the preferred news outlet and tobacco establishment for the former WWE tagteam the Vaudevillians, but I would have to assume they are Green Bay's longest running retail establishment. If I'm wrong, I would be quite curious what the right answer is. The only place I've ever purchased anything before I remember going to Bosse's was the McDonalds on Military Avenue in Green Bay. Bosse's is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. While you cannot enter the building at this time, you can place an order at the door, or call or email ahead of time for pickup. They can be contacted for shipping orders as well.

Live long and stay home and stay safe.

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