Hurricane Matthew: Fun things to do at home as storm approaches

Hurricane Matthew update: Check our WeatherPlus Blog for the latest or follow our Weather Reporter, Kim Miller on Twitter.

Don’t let Hurricane Matthew ruin the fun this week. If you and your friends don’t have plans yet, why not stay together and go throwback to elementary school with a sleepover? Not really kidding, but there’s more.

Here are my top picks to keep calm and have an awesome get-together slash hurricane party (if that’s how you and your fam get down).

Teen-agers get comfortable at a sleepover in Olney, Md. Teens say the parties are like group dates, because they often don't pair off as couples. While some parents accept the coed slumber parties, others are appalled at the idea. Illustrates COED-SLEEPOVERS (category l), by Emily Wax (c) 2000, The Washington Post. Moved Friday, Nov. 17, 2000. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by James A. Parcell.)
Teen-agers get comfortable at a sleepover. (James A. Parcell/The Washington Post)


1. Make all kinds of Pizza! #MamaMia

I’m talking meat lovers, veggie and even dessert. This is an activity that takes some time, is creative and interactive.

In traditional deep-dish fashion, you'll assemble the toppings "upside down," beginning with the mozzarella and ending with the sauce. Contributed by Christine Han
In traditional deep-dish fashion, you’ll assemble the toppings “upside down,” beginning with the mozzarella and ending with the sauce. Contributed by Christine Han

Ideas on what to buy:

  • Pillsbury Pizza Crust. Pop it, place it in oven, enjoy a fresh crust. (Or spice up your pizza life by using garlic naan instead!)
  • Sauces: Tomato sauce, Alfredo and Pesto.
  • Veggies: Tomatoes, Mushrooms and green peppers.
  • Meats: Pepperoni, sausage and ham.
  • Dessert Pizzas: Nutella, Reese’s creamy peanut butter and Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter (my favorite). Bananas, Strawberries and whip cream.

2. Do it Yourself!

Just this past weekend, my friend and I were able to transform a crappy thrift shop coffee table into a stylish piece of art (or so we think). Take a look around your home, see what chandeliers, tables, stools or lamps you don’t like.

If you need some inspiration, then see your way to Pinterest. Just key in what items you’ve got and watch your phone screen fill up with awesome DIY magic.

Veronica Gutierrez paints gold accents to a thrift shop table. (Julio Poletti/ The Palm Beach Post)

Instead of spending money on new ones, go get some cheap supplies:

  • Sandpaper (various grades)
  • Wood paint (pick your favorite)
  • Spray paint (choose between silver, gold or champagne to enhance your metals)
  • Get some cardboard boxes to protect your floors or carpet from paint.
  • Get a bag of random metals, coins and screws. (These could work as emblems and accents.)
  • Superglue and wood glue.

3. Get your body fit!

So none of your friends or family members showed up to your sleepover? No worries. There are tons of free workout videos to keep you busy.

Mike Trim, 34, a reporter/anchor for WPTU News Channel 5, and his wife Tiffany, 34, Stroke Program Manager at St. Mary's Medical Center, leap into the air to perform an exercise on Friday, January 18, 2013. The exercise is just one of many that they do each week as part of the insanity home workout program that they do 5-6 times each week to keep fit. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
Insanity Home Workout Program. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
  • Fitness Blender with instructors Kelly and Daniel has more than 500 free workout videos.
  • FreeYoga has more than 7k subscribers and hundreds of hours of free videos.
  • Jordan Yeho Fitness body weight workouts. Use your own extra pounds to get you in shape.
  • Meal Prep can be annoying but not when you’re stuck at home, doing nothing.
  • FitLifeTV’s healthy juicing ideas are great to keep you busy and lean.

4. What if the power goes out?

Not to worry, my friend. Make sure you get your hands on the best board and App games to share some laughs. Remember, your iPhone also has a flashlight.

The new Clue box top cover. Contributed by Hasbro
The new Clue box top cover. Contributed by Hasbro
  • UNOIronically, you can’t play this one alone. Start making some calls.
  • Guess who? Remember to mismatch the blue and red cards — it just looks better.
  • Cards against Humanity: Let your inner jerk come out.
  • Twister: Make sure everyone showers before this one.
  • Clue: This is an awesome mind-thrilling game that can make time go by fast.
  • Taboo: Have your partner guess your word!
  • HeadsUp: It’s not because Ellen DeGeneres created this game, it’s actually awesome.
  • Reverse charades: It’s the same classic game with an epic twist! You may want to record the craziness.

5. Embrace the storm.

Listen to our handpicked ‘Rain Playlist’ or sit down and catch up on some must-watch TV series. Click the links below:

Top 26 greatest “rain” songs of all time.

Tell us your mood, we’ll tell you what to binge-watch.

Was this Boca Raton “dive bar” one of the first in the United States?

The Dive Bar as the last holdout in the old Boca Raton Mall (1989 file photo/Thomas Graves)
The Dive Bar as the last holdout in the old Boca Raton Mall (1989 file photo/Thomas Graves)

Should a neighborhood, chill-out bar be considered a “dive bar”? The premise of a new article on the website Thrillist suggests that letting any Cheers-like joint be labeled a dive bar is an insult to genuine dive bars. They aren’t the kind of places where everybody knows your name. They are dank, dark dumps where you don’t even use your real name.

As writer T.S. Flynn notes in his article: “Dives aren’t hip, and they aren’t the kind of place where listicle readers drink.”

Related: 7 best dive bars in the Florida Keys

We’ll drink to that. But here’s a funny factoid buried in the same article: Today’s noxious trend of non-dive dive bars may have started in, of all places, Boca Raton. As Flynn notes:

By the end of the ’80s, the term “dive” even began appearing in the names of new drinking establishments — a trend that, regrettably, continues to this day. One of the first, Christy’s Dive Bar in Boca Raton, FL, opened in a shopping mall in 1987. “I liked the idea of a casual, come-as-you-are, regular-guy place,” owner Allen Christy told the Boca Raton News. Of course, it took more than…a mall bar in Boca to turn “dive” into a wildly misapplied and overused appellation. 

The writer basically blames “dive bar” overuse on Guy Fieri’s popular Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show and Mickey Rourke movies like “Barfly.” Anyway, we did a “deep dive” (in the parlance of modern, corporate-speak) and discovered that Christy’s had an interesting past.

The Dive Bar greets a lone lunch customer as the last tenant in the Boca Raton Mall. (1989 file photo/Thomas Graves)
The Dive Bar greets a lone lunch customer as the last tenant in the Boca Raton Mall. (1989 file photo/Thomas Graves)

Two years after it opened in the Boca Raton Mall, owner Allen Christy was the last holdout when a developer wanted to tear down the shopping plaza in 1989. Christy had a 10-year lease and didn’t want to go. He put up signs saying: “Stop The Rumors! The Dive Bar will be here for at least 8 1/2 more years!”

He also said the Dive Bar was “the busiest nightclub in South Florida,” and claimed that live music nights of reggae and post-punk made it a magnet for nearby Florida Atlantic University college students.

The Post’s Ron Kozlowski reported that the place had a certain desperado appeal:

    The Dive Bar name is illustrated by a huge mural that features a diver wearing a Capt. Nemo helmet on the ocean floor. The bar is long and narrow with a high ceiling covered by exposed pipes and air-conditioning equipment. A 130-foot bar runs along the right side, and a row of unpainted wooden booths hugs the opposite wall, which is decorated with hanging nautical ropes, a 14-foot-long Atlantic blue marlin and assorted bumper stickers. Most advertise the bar. Others identify radio stations or urge patrons to “party till you puke.” The floor is bare concrete speckled with splotches of flattened, dried chewing gum stuck to it…The beverage of choice is Budweiser, but dollar shots of liquor and mixed drinks are sold, too. 

So, maybe this Thrillist writer got it wrong. Maybe Christy’s Dive Bar really was a dive bar. After all, holding out against The Man to operate a nautical-themed, shots-and-beer speakeasy in the middle of a suburban mall in decline is kind of a dive bar-ish move. It could even be a Buffett song.

Allen Christy poses in front of The Dive Bar's mural. (1989 file photo/Thomas Graves)
Allen Christy poses in front of The Dive Bar’s mural. (1989 file photo/Thomas Graves)

In the end, the bar’s demise was relatively swift. After a lawsuit and counterclaims and disputed numbers about its financial value, an out-of-court settlement was reached. The dive bar took a dive. Nothing stops a wrecking ball in South Florida.

And why did that developer want to tear down the Boca mall in the first place?

To build Mizner Park, the pink, upscale behemoth where, to this day, you’ll never find anything approaching a dive bar, even in name.



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