Sunday, September 29 2019

groceries, chicken, anger, and wine

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Hope you're having a wonderful day. Here in Madison, there's a chill outside, and it's pretty wet from the rain.

Yesterday, Rodney and I hung out while Marissa was at agility with the dogs. We hung around the house watching Blue's Clues all morning, then ate some leftovers on the back porch. Afterwards, we loaded up his wagon and walked to the grocery store. We bought a whole chicken, as well as some veggies and a bottle of wine. Lately Rodney does this thing when we shop where he wanders off and comes back with a random piece of fruit or vegetable, asking to buy it. And since I'd feel too guilty to say 'no', we always return with an interesting little sampler. Yesterday he wanted to buy some bell peppers, so I obliged. I cut them into wide, flat slices and roasted them on the grill.

When we got home, I put Rodney down for a nap. I salted the chicken and got it into the fridge to dry, then I poured some wine and watched youtube videos. I could hear Rodney jumping around his room. I caved and let him take his Transformers toy (or as Rodney has come to call it, Green Guy) to bed, and I think he was trying to make the most of my lapse in judgment. For about two hours, Rodney was jumping on his bed and holding a conversation with Green Guy, throwing his voice of course.

After Rodney woke up, I let him play outside while I started the grill. Dinner preparations went pretty smoothly until I noticed that around 6:45 we still had like forty degrees to go on the chicken. The butcher at the market warned me that it was a bigger chicken, and I probably should have heeded the warning and started it sooner. But we waited it out, and almost forty-five minutes later I was swearing under my breath through smoke and greasy fire trying to sear the bird and just get it to temperature. In hindsight, I should have realized that it's much easier to keep chicken warm than it is to keep the rest of the meal warm while waiting for the chicken.

Dinner was kind of a flop. The chicken was cooked, but way too salty, and the rice was undercooked. The only thing that really hit the mark was the roasted bell peppers that Rodney picked out, so credit to him for the idea. The real success last night was keeping my anger under control. I have a bit of an anger problem, and I've been working on it. For some reason, one of my biggest triggers is when we end up eating later than expected, and cooking a large piece of meat on the grill, that's kind of bound to happen. I snapped a plastic plate on the side of the deck while the rest of the family was inside, and that was the end of the outburst.

Trying to make me feel better, Marissa sheepishly added You know in Spain, they often don't even start eating until midnight - which was such a well-timed Office reference, it was a shame that I was too grumpy to laugh.

We ate dinner and chatted about the day. Marissa and Rodney wrapped presents while I cooked, and they were proudly set out on the bar counter. I talked them into letting me open one of them. Marissa and Rodney got me a canvas printed picture to hang above my desk. It's a picture I took of our umbrella while I was sitting outside in the rain, and looking at it takes me back to that moment and relaxes me.

After dinner, we put Rodney to bed then sat outside by the fire under a blanket. We made exactly two s'more sandwiches, then went inside to watch a movie. We watched Blade Runner (the new one). I worked on the computer, and somewhere between finishing the bottle of wine and getting lost in working on code, I completely forgot we were even watching a movie. As we were locking the house up for the night, Marissa brought me up to speed with the plot in seemingly one giant run-on sentence. The movie was good - her version of it anyway.

In a few moments, I'll wake everyone up with a Dutch baby, then I'll sit around the house and drink coffee all morning. For lunch, the family and I might go out to eat somewhere, then we're going to go shopping at the grocery store to pick up something to make for game day.

And today is my golden birthday. I've never been one to make a big deal out of my birthday, but I can't help but notice all the amazing things that are happening on September 29th, 2019. As I said on Friday, a new Kanye album is dropping today. The Bears are also playing the Vikings today. I think it's going to be a good day.

Hope you have a wonderful day today. It may not be your birthday, but you can still lounge around and take it easy, as if it were. Drink coffee, sit outside under an umbrella in the rain, and don't worry about making dinner on time. After all, in Spain some people don't even start eating until midnight.