Did you know that there are 114 bricks on the front of my fireplace? Of course you didn’t know. You’re busy counting the floor tiles in your kitchen or worrying about that crack in the ceiling (was that there yesterday?). It’s how we spend the time as we approach the one-month mark of our indeterminate lock-down.

Twenty-six slats in my southwest-facing miniblinds. Fifty-one party lights (Christmas lights; they become party lights on Jan. 12) in the Barn. Wait, really? They sell party lights in packs of 51? I’d recount them if I wanted to be accurate, but I’m awfully busy these days, as the more discerning reader might have already guessed.

When I’m not taking careful(ish) inventory of things in my house, I am taking care of my daughter who, on early Easter morning, came down with what I can now diagnose properly, as what we used to call “the 24-hour flu.” In Hannah’s case, apparently almost to the minute, because now it’s Easter Monday morning and she’s been sleeping peacefully since about 4:30 a.m., which is more than you can say for your quarantine chronicler, who has been up with her all night long and is now writing on zero hours’ sleep and more than a little coffee which may be slightly evident.

I tried to catch a little nap at around 3 a.m., but I was suddenly assaulted by a vicious ear-worm, based on this particular cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York,” by the PigPen Theatre Co., and to make matters more untenable, the ear-worm was accompanied by an eye-worm of the video of the song, which rendered me incapable of blacking out the vision of accordionist and Garfunklian harmonizer Dan Weschler.

Here, you try it:

Aside from skimming along on the winding road through YouTube, I feel like I haven’t been watching enough movies and series on my little isolation holiday. Yeah, I joined the world in watching “Tiger King” (B-minus; three stars), but otherwise I haven’t been pulling my Netflix-watching weight and when I could have been doing that I’ve spent more time reading books than I’d anticipated, and in the on-deck circle right now is Anne Tyler’s 23rd book, “Redhead By the Side of the Road. I’ve read almost all of her previous works and am always amazed by the depth of her characters. I’ll be binge-reading it.

And look! It’s the highlight of any serious isolationist’s day: A visit from the postman! Since I can’t squander my money in the outside world these days, I like to order stuff online and then wait by the mail slot and bark like my dogs when the envelopes come cascading in.

Today’s haul: An ad for a company named Mosquito Joe—I’m gonna go ahead and option the film rights to that one; a few financial statements which I can’t throw away quickly enough because it seems like most of my retirement savings are currently tied up in companies that make things that don’t exist anymore. What was I thinking when I poured a ton of money into a firm that makes carnival kissing booths?

And, what else? An item from Star Tees, so it must be a T-shirt. I hope it’s one that’s nice enough to wear to work.

Ripping into the packaging with my teeth (before it dawns on me that the thing could be covered in COVID; I’ve gotta get out of the habit of ripping into things with my teeth), it is in fact, a T-shirt. A topical, coronavirus T-shirt that says, in big letters that can be read by most people with normal eyesight at a distance of maybe 50 feet: “IF YOU CAN READ THIS YOU ARE TOO CLOSE.”

I honestly don’t know where the shirt came from. I don’t strike myself as the kind of guy who would buy a novelty coronavirus T-shirt, but you never know. I’m full of surprises.

At any rate, the shirt is indeed nice enough to wear to work, and may have a certain utility just to wear while walking around, and it’s definitely nice enough to take a nap in.

Goodnight, everybody!

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.