Monday, June 15, 2009

my weekend

This was not the most exciting of weekends but I can't say that it was particularly dull either. My biggest complaint was the weather. I am so tired of the rain. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it has been raining almost non-stop for about a month. Probably longer. Okay, fine. Sometimes it stops for a day or two at a time and the sun comes out. And fine, for the most part those sunny days have fallen on the weekend. But this time, they didn't.

Friday night as I walked home, squinting directly into the sun, my head filled with ideas of what to do with this unexpected gift of early evening sunshine following days and days of rain and gray. Reading on the roof was the top choice. Until I entered my apartment and the weight of the week propelled me into pajamas and onto my couch. No rooftop reading for me - just catching up on what my dvr had stored for me from the week. Mindless. Sunless. But I made that choice under the delusion that Saturday was going to be a sunny one.

I was wrong.

Saturday dawned gray and gloomy with fleeting moments of sun that quickly disappeared. I cleaned my apartment and relished in the bliss of not suffering any obligations for the day. A clean slate of a day! I couldn't remember the last one I had. Around 1 pm I decided to go for a 2 mile run. The moment I stepped outside, it started sprinkling. I am not kidding. When I left my apartment I swear the sun was out. I confined much of my run to the path covered by the West Side Highway and welcomed the light rain once I was out in the open.

Back at home I showered and lounged around some more in between short bursts of cleaning energy. At one point I texted a friend to go see a movie but was not disappointed when she couldn't make it. Instead, I booked a massage - my reward for reaching my running goal.

After a very intense 60 minutes of massage - which the masseuse told me was much needed, I was tight everywhere - I went to Whole Foods and shopped. I bought fresh cherries (that I am currently snacking on at the moment) and fixings for dinner. Then tensed my newly relaxed shoulders back up while walking home with the grocery bags.

When I arrived at home I opted to make my own pasta sauce starting with a leftover roasted red peppers/shallots/garlic mixture I had in my fridge and just added stuff to it: more garlic, olive oil, mushrooms, zuchinni, more garlic, a little tomato paste, canned tomatoes, a fresh tomato, maybe more garlic, fresh basil, pine nuts, some salt and lots of pepper. Oh, and some red pepper flakes for a little spice! The sauce went well with the whole wheat penne pasta I picked up and the fresh mozzarella was perfect on top of it all.
I also made some garlic bread. Usually when I make garlic bread, I just drizzle the melted butter on the baguette, sprinkle it with minced garlic, wrap it in foil and put it in the oven at 400 degrees. For some reason I thought I should change that up and broil it - open faced - at the same temp. Not such a good plan since I didn't pay attention to it and before long I couldn't figure out what was burning . . . right, the bread.
Not one to toss a perfectly good garlic-laden loaf of bread, I cut off the black incerated parts and ate it anyway. Wow, do I love garlic!
On Sunday I was scheduled to leave the state for the afternoon. I don't know why I still get such a kick out of leaving the state for a day trip after living here for so long but I do. I guess growing up in one of those big square states out west which generally requires hours and hours of driving, a cooler in the car and a place to stay when leaving the state makes it hard for me to change my perception.

Anyway, I wasn't clear on the time I was supposed to arrive in New Jersey and I wasn't clear on what I was supposed to bring. So I sat on my couch until I received a text with further instructions. (Are you getting the impression that I spent a lot of time on my couch this weekend? Because I didn't really, just a lot of resting between other things.) I was asked to bring something sweet - my favorite! So I decided to whip up some brownies. Which proved to be a challenge since I did not have enough butter and I was out of white flour. Or almost out of white flour. Luckily I had some wheat and knew this was a crowd that would appreciate whole wheat baked goods. I subbed in a little shortening for the butter shortage (a sacrilege under normal circumstances) and used mostly wheat flour. The result - quite tasty, but a bit on the chewier side and definitely missing the usual butteryness I love so much about my recipe.

Between the brownie-making and the part where I didn't take a shower until after I put the brownies in the oven, I was running late. A noon arrival in Jersey City was not going to happen. It really should not have taken me too long to get there but for some reason I ended up doing everything the slow and hard way and fell further and further behind to the point that my host called as I was walking from the train to her house to make sure I wasn't lost because I am - to quote her: "never late." I was not lost. Just 45 minutes late to the bbq. It wasn't raining but the weather was gray and humid and fairly icky.

Luckily that did not interfere with our afternoon bbq in what felt like an extremely spacious townhouse. I was able to meet my friend's 6-month old little girl for the first time and see my other friend's 8-month old again. Such cute babies!
The food was delicious, the conversation was delightful and it felt so restorative to spend time with friends who have known me for a surprisingly long time now. When we noticed the sun shining brightly through the windows, we took a short walk and after munching on a few more snacks, I hitched a ride with my other friends back to the City (to Canal Street at least) while they passed through heading home to Brooklyn.
Walking back from the subway the sun was still brightly shining. This time I vowed not to be sucked into my couch and laziness. As soon as I arrived home, I packed myself a little picnic dinner of pb&j, some cherries and a bottle of water. I changed into shorts, grabbed a light jacket in case of wind and a book and pushed myself back out the door. I found a sunny bench by the water and lounged there for a couple of hours - first talking to my mom and then reading a book. It was a wonderful way to end the weekend.

I'm so lucky to have this park so close to my house:
And as I left the park, I spied the little goose family I have been watching grow as I run along the river over the last couple of months:
I can't believe how big the little goslings are now. I'm just sad that now there are only two - there used to be three.
Now there is just a sign advising dog owners to keep their dogs leashed to protect the baby geese. Sad!

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Sounds like a great weekend to me!

Love that park.

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