Right now, going to the office or beauty salon sounds about as tantalizing as a Caribbean vacation.

The simplest activities that we once took for granted have become the stuff dreams are made of.

We asked two dozen Minnesota celebrities to share the first things they are eager to do once pandemic restrictions are lifted.


“Grab my mother-in-law, drive to Serum’s Good Time Emporium in Anoka, order the biggest platter of chicken wings and play pulltabs until U.S. Bank sends an official to tell me I have no more money.”

— Jason Matheson, host of KMSP-TV’s “The Jason Show” and MyTalk 107.1’s “Jason & Alexis”


“I am most excited about getting back on the comedy stage. I am also excited to pick up some job applications for my 16-year-old. She is eating me out of house and home and I would like to be reimbursed.”

— Khadijah Cooper, comedian and co-producer of the standup showcase “People of Comedy”


“I’m gonna hug my mom and give her a big fat kiss on the cheek. She’s 65 and has diabetes, so I can’t risk anything. And I’m thankful that she’s good now and want her around for a long, long time.”

— Sherwin Resurreccion, actor and restaurateur behind Apoy


“Three things: Get a haircut (so as not to scare anyone away), rehearse some chamber music with friends and have an Old Fashioned cocktail at Meritage to celebrate.”

— Kyu-Young Kim, principal violin and artistic director of St. Paul Chamber Orchestra


“Get my nails done. And eat at all my fave restaurants. I’m sick of my own cooking!”

— Kat Perkins, singer known for NBC’s “The Voice”


“My No. 1 wish is to sit at a bar. It’s one of those things about being in the restaurant industry. We’re so used to going out after work, sitting at a bar, getting a late-night snack, hanging out with our favorite bartenders and just relaxing and unwinding. I miss sitting next to strangers, and it’s going to be a while before that happens. It’s all those little things that you take for granted, right?”

— Christina Nguyen, co-owner/chef of Hola Arepa and Hai Hai


“First time it feels like buffet eating is advisable — which I recognize might not be on Day 1 — I am going to Q-Cumbers in Edina, and me and my family are shutting down that salad bar, 1,000 percent. They are running out of ranch dressing, soft serve ice cream, the funny tasting rice, the broccoli sunflower seed salad and all varieties of chowder.”

— Sean McPherson, bassist for Heiruspecs, DJ on 89.3 the Current and co-founder of Trivia Mafia


“The first thing I want to do? Get on a disinfected plane! I need to get back to Minnesota. My company fiveXfive has several public art projects that should be resurrected once the economy wakes up. ... There’s plenty of time to sit on the beach in Carlsbad once business in the Twin Cities is taken care of!”

— Robyne Robinson, arts leader and Public Art Coordinator for the city of Carlsbad, Calif.


“Get together with my cookbook club. I can’t wait to cook a huge, beautiful meal, drink wine, and be in fantastic company. Connecting IRL has been the hardest loss to deal with, for me personally!”

— Kate Arends, founder of Wit & Delight


“Hug a friend. I was on a walk last night and I saw that someone had put a sign on a tree that said, ‘Hug me,’ and I thought, ‘Oh god, that’s cute, but it isn’t even close enough.’ I want my normal people connections back. I see tons of people at the Birchwood, who are coming to our curb to buy food, but you can’t get close to them. You’re just standing there, 6 feet apart. It’s weird.”

— Tracy Singleton, owner of Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis


“I want to go hear some live music, and I would like to see some dancing. Music and dancing should always follow a period of being cooped up.”

— Charles Baxter, author of “The Feast of Love” and other books


“On Feb. 27, my friend Erin and I went to see Dessa perform at First Avenue. A few days beforehand, when I realized Dessa wouldn’t go on stage until 9:15 p.m., which is pretty much my bedtime, I wondered if I could summon the energy to get out of my house. I’m now so glad I did. ... There’s so much about this night that now seems impossible and luxurious. I look forward to a time when being in a crowd still feels transcendent but once again feels possible.”

— Curtis Sittenfeld, author of “American Wife” and the forthcoming “Rodham”


“The first thing I dream of doing when they finally set us free is hopping back on the stage and do what I love most. I can’t wait to perform in front of beautiful people and feel energy again!”

— Sophia Eris, Lizzo’s DJ/co-vocalist and Go 95.3 host


“I dream of performing. I dream of people smiling, free from dread. I dream of sweating in a northern sauna, conceiving heavy thoughts, and floating on my back in a lake filled with stars.”

— John Munson, bassist in the New Standards and Semisonic


“I am so looking forward to having a small dinner party and all that goes into preparing for it. I want to browse the cheese shop and taste samples, visit the butcher, buy bread at the bakery, and select wines (well, my husband Jack will take care of the wine). And then share a relaxed meal in the company of friends. But in the near term I will settle for the opportunity to share takeout with a few friends.”

— Mary Ceruti, executive director of Walker Art Center


“I can’t wait to pack the family in the car and head to the Cities, so we can meet our new nephew and cousin, Parker! He was born at the end of February. And I want some baby snuggles before he’s a wriggly toddler and can run away from a Zoom call.”

— Renee Passal, anchor for WDIO in Duluth


“The first thing I will do when this is over is watch ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ on my parents’ couch while drinking wine and eating chocolate. Then the next day I will go busking on the Lakewalk in Duluth, and then sit at a coffee shop and have a mocha and read a book. Then later that night Paul [Tressler, her husband] and I can meet at Vitta Pizza for a date in Canal Park. I have a feeling I will probably cry every time I give someone I love a hug for at least the first week or so, and I’ll probably bawl on stage during my first live show.”

— Gaelynn Lea, singer, violinist and teacher


“Breakfast at Benedict’s in Wayzata, lunch at Crossroads Deli and probably dinner at McCormick’s in Wayzata. I want a stack of pancakes more than anything right now. And movies. I miss going to a movie I made and there are 300 people, sitting and watching it. I hope that’s not gone.”

— Pat Proft, co-screenwriter of “The Naked Gun,” who’s working on a pandemic-inspired comedy


“Get together with friends and family. It’s been a little better since the weather has warmed up, where we can be outside and talk face to face with one another. But not being around friends and family, that’s what’s been making this tough. And then, of course when things are normal, I want to go to restaurants, and eat. A lot.”

— Hai Truong, chef/owner of Ngon Bistro, St. Paul


“I love to travel — it’s in my blood. We’re working on lots of projects with artists in London and New York that we can’t see. Chicago, L.A., Capetown — I’m one of those lucky people who gets to travel and is fed by it.”

— Peter Brosius, artistic director of Children’s Theatre Company


“What I miss most during this time of seclusion is seeing friends and family and going to restaurants. The first thing I would like to do when this is over is have my kids and grandkids over for a backyard barbecue.”

— Jim Denomie, artist based in Franconia


“Watching my kids play sports and perform in theater again. Easily what I’ve missed the most.”

— Eric Perkins, KARE-11 sports director and anchor


“I am proud of the Public Health doctors and nurses in my family. But also scared. We live in the wealthiest country in the world and yet our health workers still don’t have adequate protection. They should never have to put their lives on the line to care for the rest of us. It is hard to even write those words! So even with more freedom I am wearing a mask etc. and trying not to get myself or anyone else sick. The question is, what will I do when we all get vaccinated? Oh my God! I’ll hug my mother and my dad. Then shake hands with a perfect stranger. I might go crazy. Stroll into the Uptown Theater. Go to a powwow. Brush my hair off my face and not think of death!”

— Louise Erdrich, author of “The Night Watchman”


“The first thing I’ll do is hit my gym — Los Campeones. HARD! REAL hard!”

— Gary Hines, director of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness


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