Stay At Home: Day 3

March 22, 2020
  • Stay At Home: Day 3

Ok…so…right off the bat, I don’t have the materials to make a mixtape tonight. If you came here expecting music, I apologize. Check back tomorrow. I can’t find my USB to Lightning adapter, so I have no access to any of my portable hard drives until I find it. Since I’m not working tomorrow I’ll have all the time in the world to mill around and look for it. And even if I don’t find it, I’ll have hours with which to scour the Internet for whatever songs I would have used. My point is — check back tomorrow for music!

Today was a somewhat unusual one as it involved traveling outside our quarantine zone for an hour. I mentioned in a previous post that on Friday I had to drive a couple of miles to a grocery store to retrieve some supplies. For some reason, today really felt like the first time we ventured out during this citywide lockdown period. As we got dressed and mentally prepared ourselves to go outside for a bit, I felt like I was living in the world of, like…28 Days Later. It really felt like preparing to enter a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested hellscape. Of course, if I told you that the reason for us leaving home today revolved around picking up wine and beer, you’d probably laugh at me. Trust me, I wish I was going out on a real adventure. That simply wasn’t the case.

The rules in Los Angeles right now — as they pertain to businesses remaining open or being forced closed — revolve around whether or not a business is considered “essential.” This Safer At Home order prohibits all social gatherings and mandates that anyone who isn’t employed by the government, health-care or restaurant industries remains quarantined at home. So restaurants can stay open, but they have to abide by their own regulations. Like, dining-in is no longer an option. You can only offer delivery or take-out. Some eateries have transitioned to General Stores, selling things like sugar and flour and ingredients for food preparation, in addition to offering their regular menu items for take-out. Others have started using big-name delivery apps like Postmates or Caviar. A few have even shifted employees from working as servers or hosts to working as delivery drivers. Wineries and breweries are in a weird spot because they’re considered “essential,” but their tasting rooms have to remain closed to the public. Hence, they’ll do delivery within their neighborhoods or offer curbside pick-up. That’s where our errands today took us.

Our first stop was Highland Park Brewery in Chinatown. I have to say, for all the times I’ve driven from my new abode (on the border of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood) downtown, this was the fastest I’ve ever arrived at my destination. I called ahead to order two crowlers and a four-pack of beer, and I asked if I could retrieve any outstanding bottles from my club membership. When I arrived, the patio area outside the brewery was cordoned off with blue tape to keep customers at an acceptable “social distance” from one another. I chatted — from a safe distance — with a couple of the brewery’s employees while waiting for my items. It took about 3 minutes, and I would call the transaction seamless were it not for the fact that I had to sign a credit card slip before leaving. I would have thought charging me over the phone for my items would negate that, but when the guy who handed my order produced a pen and piece of paper, I nearly shit my pants and died. Upon returning to the car I sobbed quietly to myself while using a copious amount of hand sanitizer to destroy whatever germs I might have picked up while holding the pen.

Note to self: In these weird, trying times…always carry your own pen.

Our next stop was less than a mile away at Angeleno Wine Company. We’d ordered four bottles online yesterday, and received very strict instructions for how to retrieve them. Upon pulling into the parking lot, we texted the number the winery provided and within moments Amy was outside holding a box of wine and cheerfully greeting us. Under normal circumstances, we’d be racing out of the car to hug her and say “Hi!” and probably taste some wine, but these are not normal circumstances by any means. Through a cracked car window, we chatted very briefly, as she loaded the wine into the trunk of my car. She made sure to show off how she has one gloved hand to handle the wine and one non-gloved hand to manipulate people’s car trunks. Or maybe it was the other way around, with the gloved hand opening the trunk and the non-gloved hand holding the wine. Either way, we promised that when this all ends we’ll be back to enjoy some wine with her and Jasper. Who knows when that will be. Hopefully soon.

Once home, we disinfected every can and bottle before putting them away, then washed hands (probably for the fiftieth time today) and showered and changed clothes. This is the routine whenever I leave the house for a mid-day walk or an early morning run. Once back inside, I throw my clothes in the wash and take a shower. It’s probably overkill but I’m taking this shit seriously.

The rest of my Sunday afternoon was pretty boring. I did some laundry, I cleaned the bathroom, I got to play one game of MLB The Show 2020, and I spoke to both of my parents. Dinner tonight was a combination of roasted cauliflower steaks (BBQ style) with sauteed asparagus (with lots of butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic), and garlic bread. After having no bread in the house for a week, we suddenly find ourselves with a variety of bread, so I really wanted to get rid of those last two stupid little dinner rolls. I thought the meal turned out well, but I’m still relatively new at this whole cooking-dinner-every-night thing, so I don’t think I’m winning any style points for presentation/plating.

One of my hopes for this experience is to both grow as a home chef and learn how to take better pictures of my meals. So far I think I’m doing terribly both as a chef and as a photographer. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated.

After dinner, I decided to crack a beer and watch a movie with a buddy while chatting on a Google hangout. We decided on Death Warmed Up, a horror movie made in New Zealand in the early ’80s. It was billed as a splatter film in the vein of Braindead or Dead Alive or whatever you want to call it, but it was atrocious. The splatter was barely there, the plot made little sense, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how “excessive violence” caused the film to be banned. It was pretty much a waste of 90 minutes.

It was also the reason I started writing this post at 10:00 pm instead of earlier in the day when I could have devoted some time to put together a proper Sunday Mix Tape for you. Again, sorry about that!

Until tomorrow…

Stay healthy, and stay safe.

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