Monday, October 21 2019

bears, burgers, instagram, and bowling

972 words

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Hope you’re feeling good this Monday morning. It’s dark, dreary, and looking at the forecast I might have to walk to the bust stop through a misting of rain, but that’s actually sounding pretty refreshing right now.

Yesterday was a pretty good day - nothing to write home about, but it felt like a very typical day, and after spending so much of this weekend traveling and going to places, it was a much needed return to average. We all ate breakfast at the table, then left ran some errands as a family. We first went to Home Depot to pick up some supplies, which included wood for the new shelves in the IT corner. We grabbed a quick lunch at Portillo’s, then swung by Hy-Vee to pick up food. We put Rodney down for a nap, then Marissa worked in the basement while I watched the Bears game.

I’m just going to be brave here. The Bears played pretty poorly. It’s starting to look like a very unfortunate year to jump on the Bears bandwagon, but we’re here now, and this is our team. Their performance was pretty underwhelming, especially considering they’ve had an entire two weeks off since getting pummeled by the Raiders in London. I was pretty hopeful, I thought they would figure things out, and just the shear fact that we got our starting QB back would get everyone fired up. Mitch was back, but he missed some frustratingly easy throws. Our offense was in shambles, and by the third quarter our defense matched. It was still fun to watch the game, but I really hope the Bears try something new before next Sunday. At this point they have little to lose.

As the game started to wind down, I fired up the grill to cook some burgers. As Marissa was working in the basement, I could hear her yelling at the TV, so in a sense I felt like I was still following the action, even while working outside. I plated up dinner, which was just some regular Hy-Vee burgers, baked beans, and potato chips.

I’m just going to be brave here. My burgers didn’t turn out great. I don’t know how I managed to screw up cheeseburgers, but it’s humbling, and it will make you stand back and evaluate things. I’m still not sure what happened. I used the pre-formed patties that come in an eight pack. I seasoned them, seared them on each side for about a minute, then finished them over indirect heat. If anything, I thought I left the burgers on for too long, since I had to help Rodney use the potty around the time I’d normally take them out, but a few of the patties had red inside of them. It was like they were somehow overcooked and undercooked at the same time. “It’s like someone slid a shard of frozen beef into the center of these, like a splinter - just to mess with me,” I joked.

Following my lead, we also together chided my lapse in judgment in getting chips as a side dish. “Yeah, chips aren’t a side,” Marissa laughed. “Now I’m really thirsty, like I feel like I need to drink a gallon of water.”

I have to stand back and laugh. This past year has been a cooking Renaissance for me. I’ve learned lots of new recipes, but I still grill the same way. To borrow from Mitch Trubisky’s words after last night’s horrible game, “Our offense has no identity. We’re just searching.” Same for my grilling game, Mitch.

After dinner, I knocked out my Sunday chores, caught up on some emails, then edited a timelapse together for Marissa. After selecting a song from my playlist, I finally took the time to read up on Instagram’s rules with copyrighted music, and I was very disappointed to learn how restrictive it is. “When in doubt, you should not post content that you didn’t create, including music,” read the FAQ on their support site. We’ve gotten away with it thus far, and when a video of hers has gotten flagged it’s pretty simple to re export it without the audio and resubmit it, but Marissa just hit 100K followers over the weekend and I was suddenly feeling wary about pushing our luck with such an investment.

You can still use royalty free music, so you’re free to make your video sound like an iPhone commercial or a crummy soundcloud rapper promo. “I guess you’ll have to start making music,” Marissa joked. She reminded me that at one point I talked about getting a small drum machine like the one Kanye keeps in a small shiny suitcase. It’s still possible I guess. She should consider the seed planted.

Marissa worked up until bedtime while I wound down the night with some King of the Hill. The dogs both snuggled on the couch with me while I drank a beer. I watched the episode where Bobby starts to express interest in football and Hank plans the perfect football outing to seal the deal and they get into lots of trouble.

Today, back to work, and back to a regular week. Marissa is planning on releasing a bunch of paintings at the end of the week, and last night we were kicking around the idea of going bowling on Friday to celebrate. We think Rodney is old enough - if not old enough to roll a ball, he’s certainly old enough to appreciate the bowling alley vibe.

Hope you all have a wonderful day today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next entry.