Monday, April 12, 2021


I did a very pre-pandemic thing today, i.e. a once-regular habit I'd not practiced for over a year, which is to line up a whole set of geographically proximate errands and do them on one trip. I was out for nearly 2 1/2 hours.

1. Stopped at the independent bookstore to pick up a volume I'd ordered from their web site: The Science of Middle-earth, translated from the French. Reading the opening chapters during the waiting part of step 4 revealed loads of irritating errors. Early LOTR reviewer Michael Straight is called Straits. Tolkien is said to have delivered "On Fairy-stories" at a conference on fairy tales. And an article on family relationships in the legendarium invents a non-existent nephew of a non-existent king.

2. Stopped at the public library in the same town to turn in a large book bag's worth of checked out books, including some from ILL, concluding work on the Tolkien Studies annual bibliography which I turned in yesterday.

3. Stopped at my credit union office to make the annual small deposit. I only keep this account for the credit card I got from it, but I have to do something with the account itself once a year or I start getting charged for inactivity. Remembered to bring along my member number this time.

3a. Impulse stop, as on the way out to the freeway I passed Izzy's, the only genuine bagels in the area south of SF. First bagel I'd had since before the pandemic. They've set up an ordering counter blocking their front door, and the clerk shouts your order over her shoulder to the person at the bagel counter in the back. I asked for an Everything bagel. What do you want on it (e.g. cream cheese)? Nothing, I said. This evidently caused my order to transmute into a Plain bagel. Got that straightened out.

4. 2nd dose of Pfizer.

5. Stopped at favorite fish restaurant for a take-out lunch order of fried sole. Ate the nuggets on the drive home with the aid of a vinyl glove and a bottle of water I'd brought along for this eventuality. The haste was because I would otherwise be running short of time for the starting point of an errand at home,

6. Our weekly play reading session on Zoom. Today, the first half of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Was more interesting this way than some live performances I've seen. Afterwards, analyzed the rest of the play to assign parts for next week. This can be a bit of a challenge when you have only four actors for a final scene in which the whole cast of characters is on stage at once. Efforts to assign multiple parts that don't interact led to B. in Act 3 Scene 3 reading Ariel and Sebastian. Yikes! We're doing Disney's The Little Mermaid!

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