My strategy was basically to make people come to me. So arguably I cheated. A nobler carless weekend would have involved finally visiting one of the 75 galleries within a one-mile radius of my house, or taking public transportation. Instead, I:
- Stayed in Friday night and graded student reading journals while AK and Amy worked on a paper about dental care for poor children and reading literary submissions, respectively. Welcome to the 24-hour mobile workplace. It sucks.
- Made a dish for book club, which I found by Googling “russian fish soup easy.” All my recipe searches end in “easy.” And it was, despite the fact that it required me to make my own fish stock—stock being one of those foods like marinara sauce and marshmallows, which I forget actually come into the world as a set of unassembled ingredients. The recipe also called for halibut, which is like $90 a pound. Our book was about starving Russians during World War II. They actually only talk about eating fish soup; what they eat is “library candy” made from melted book bindings. Yum. So I went with cod and something called “Icelandic char.” That sounds like one of those deep-water species that lives to be a thousand years old and doesn’t breed till it’s two hundred and is therefore highly unsustainable and used to be called something unappetizing like “the mucous face blorg,” but which has come to market because we ate all the edible, easy-to-catch fish. Anyway, throw in some tomatoes, lemons and capers, and it tastes great.
- Forced people to brave traffic to come have book club on our newly somewhat-clean back patio. Despite the cleanliness, our canvas patio covering is still in tatters, so it was a little like taking shelter from Nazis in some blown-apart farmhouse. Except that it was 72 degrees out and we had take-out from a Russian restaurant in the South Bay and a keg of Heineken, which we decided we’d pilfered from the Germans. But the beer was slightly flat, so it’s not like we didn’t face hardship.
- Made Holly and Joel drive over from Pasadena on Sunday (by which time construction had ended and the city was opening the 405 early) for veggie tacos. Also on the patio.