It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week we’ll pull together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.
MAKE: Citrus Herb Salad
With temperatures in LA climbing into the 90s last week, I’d been craving a meal that was bright and summery. I mentioned this to a chef friend of mine, and she texted me this recipe. It’s just about perfect.
- Cut up some citrus. I used two oranges, but grapefruit or clementines work too.
- Slice a shallot into thin rings.
- Put the citrus and shallot into a bowl with a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar (or any vinegar except balsamic), a few tablespoons of olive oil, and some salt and pepper.
- Let the citrus hang in the fridge for a bit.
- Toast some almonds in a skillet and chop them.
- Chop some lettuce into small, bite-size pieces.
- Chop some herbs into large pieces. (I used Thai basil, parsley, and mint, but anything works — cilantro would be great here.)
- Throw the lettuce and herbs into a big bowl. Put the citrus/shallot mix on top. Mix well.
- Top with toasted almonds, feta or goat cheese, and a lot of coarse ground pepper.
BINGE: The Expanse
There are no aliens in The Expanse, no prophecies, no ray-guns or magical devices or any of that. This is grounded science fiction, a science fiction show rooted firmly in what’s scientifically possible — it’s a show about human societies that just happens to be set in space. What makes the show so compelling is its array of characters and the way in which their personal relationships complicate their “roles” in future society: there’s a jaded cop with a little too much empathy; a UN diplomat willing to do anything in order to protect Earth; a ship captain whose curiosity keeps getting him into trouble. And because Uncle Jeff is a fan, the whole show now streams for free on Amazon Prime.
I’ve been holding off on this one, for obvious reasons. If you don’t need any more pandemic-themed things in your life right now — totally get it, and please skip this. But I’ve decided to include Pandemic: Legacy this week because it is my favorite board game of all time. And it’s not even close. This is a cooperative legacy game, which means two things: 1) You and your friends are working together against the game, and 2) Your decisions in each game permanently affect all future games, & the board is constantly changing. Think of it sort of like a board game crossed with a season of TV — except YOU are playing the central characters. For six months, two friends and I worked our way through Pandemic: Legacy Season 1’s campaign, and every week we were blown away by the game’s nail-biting, addictive gameplay and it’s crazy plot twits and surprises; every time we found ourselves in a rhythm, the game threw us a new insane challenge. Yeah, it’s a bit pricey — but in terms of dollars to fun — it’s worth every penny. Probably best for those quarantining with significant others, roommates, or family, as the game’s a bit too complex to work over Zoom.
SLAY: The Spire
Speaking of addictive gameplay, Slay the Spire totally ate up my life when it came out last year. In Slay the Spire, you build a deck of digital cards that you use to fight increasingly difficult monsters. If you lose a match? You have to start over. As the clich© goes — it’s a video game that’s simple to learn but challenging to master. If you love chess and other strategy games, you’ll love this. And because the rounds are quite fast, it’s perfect for when you want to wind down for 15-20 minutes with a game that tests your brain more than it tests your reflexes. Currently on all consoles and PC, but it’ll be coming to iOS and Android later this year too.
That’s all. Just be. We here at Weekend Reset are all about them activities — but sometimes? We all need to slow down. Maybe this is a good weekend to turn off your phone, your computer, your television, and spend a little time with yourself or with the people you love. Maybe you pour yourself a mug of something warm and sit outside and read a book; maybe you take a socially distant walk or bike ride around the neighborhood; maybe you dig out that guitar you’ve been meaning to practice, or bust out an adult coloring book, or a puzzle, or a sketch pad. Give yourself the gift of offline time, and see where it leads you. It’s amazing how calm and creative our brains can be when the internet isn’t jangling in our pockets.
About the author: Michael Robin is an LA-based television writer. When he’s not working away on his latest pilot script, you can find him scuba diving, hosting Shabbat dinners, or goofing off with his goldendoodle, Biggie Lebowski.