Wednesday, October 30 2019

strongbad, halloween, green potatoes, and calendar hell

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! And happy "Hallow's Eve Eve". This morning there is still a bit of wet snow on the ground, and as I begin writing I can hear the family start to wake up. From Rodney's room, I can hear suspicious thumping sounds, books falling on the floor, and draws sliding open. Truth be told, we don't know what he does in there. Marissa's phone alarm just went off. In a few minutes, everyone will probably make their way downstairs, but for now, I'm alone in the dining room writing.

I'm working from home today, so I chose to spend the extra half hour sitting here, drinking coffee, and watching Strongbad emails. As I was sitting here enjoying the dated mind numbing Internet humor, I suddenly started to worry about the longevity of the site. All the videos on the website are flash. While at the time, that was the new hotness, flash is now so marginalized that you can't even play the website in Firefox without first accepting a warning popup and explicitly clicking the animated widget. As the toon played, I flung a note into my side project ideas list: archive all strongbad emails as videos. We'll see if I can get time to do that anytime soon.

Sip. I think it's going to be a good day today. I'm working from home all day, and then in the afternoon we're all going to put on our Spider-Man costumes and go trick or treating around the capital square. Last year, we missed it. This year, our family calendar is on point, and we're ready to squeeze as many fun memories as possible out of this Halloween. There's something that makes me and Marissa a little worried though - Rodney has yet to try on his Halloween costume. It's not the casual kind of costume that you can slip on and forget that you're wearing it either. It's a full spandex Spider-Man costume. Marissa and I have worn ours around the house to try to pique his interest, but whenever it came down for Rodney to try his own, he'd give us a firm "no daaase" (that's Rodneese for no thanks). At least he was polite about it. There's an old home movie of me throwing a fit on our patio when I was three years old (or five?). I was wearing a Yogi Bear costume, and I wasn't excited about it. I wonder if now as an adult I'll get to see the other end of a prime toddler Halloween meltdown. Time will tell I guess. I have a feeling that he'll get into the idea once he sees Marissa and I are doing it, and worse comes to worse, I can just go collect candy for him as a proxy. At least as people wonder about the jackass in the Spider-Man costume asking for his share of the kids' candy, my true identity will be concealed.

After trick or treating on the square, we're going to find a place downtown to eat dinner. Our choice will most definitely be motivated by looking as out of place as possible. "Maybe Graze?" suggested Marissa. The beautiful glass building. The polite staff. The upscale dinner menu. It sounds like the perfect place to cause trouble. I don't know what it is about owning a Spider-Man mask that makes me want to be a public menace. That definitely flies in the face of what the mask is supposed to stand for.

Yesterday was a pretty good day too. Rodney, Marissa, and I all patched things up after the fallout on Monday. Rodney was in a very good mood when we went shopping. He even figured out how to push the cart. As I picked out some potatoes, he eagerly insisted he throw them in the cart himself, one at a time. One of them rolled on the floor, but before he noticed it I scooped it up and added it with the others. "Nice job dude - perfect!" I assured him. I rewarded for his good behavior with a chocolate egg - one of those Kinder Eggs with the tiny choking hazards inside. When we got home, Marissa rolled her eyes when she realized she'd have to help him assemble yet another intricate, extremely breakable Marvel themed keychain. A keychain. Can you imagine how dumb of a toy that is for a child? It's not like Rodney can hook it onto his car keys.

For dinner, I made some mashed potatoes, gravy, and asparagus. I boiled the potatoes with chopped kale, in hopes that the end result would be fluffy white potatoes interlaced with wilted pieces of kale, and it almost happened - but the kale turned the water green, and the green water turned the potatoes green. Everything was quite green, and underneath brown gravy, I have to admit it was a bit of an eye sore. It was one of those meals that tasted better than it looked. "Just ignore the weird color," I warned as we started eating.

After Rodney went to bed, I cleaned the kitchen, and Marissa and I sat down at the computer to go over our calendar for the month of November. At least that's what I thought we were doing. Marissa just wanted to run some weekend dog agility stuff by me, and needless to say she got a little frustrated that I insisted we march through every day from now until the end of November. "When you close your eyes and picture hell, is it just sitting here with me going over every detail of our calendar for all of eternity?" I chided. "OK - MARCH 20TH 2021. WHAT TIME ARE WE EATING BREAKFAST?" Marissa added, imitating me.

After Marissa finished her stint in family calendar purgatory with me, we made our way to the couch to finish our movie pick, Back To School. It was a wonderful movie. My last few picks have been a little rough, so I was glad to finally break my slump.

That's what I got today. Time to power on my work laptop and start the day. The thumping has stopped in Rodney's room, so either he fell back asleep, or he's found something else to do. Hope you have a great day today, everyone. Thanks for reading.