Saturday, November 30 2019

pancakes, driving, mixtapes, and rodney's computer fiddling

Dear Journal,

Good morning everyone! Although it's already getting into the afternoon, so that greeting may be inaccurate. You see, I lost track of time this morning. The plan was to let the dogs out, brew some coffee, then crank out a couple of pancakes for the family to entice them to come downstairs. It was my fist time following the recipe, and it made for a much larger batch than I had planned. Twenty pancakes later, here I am.

To add to that, the pancakes are really filling. I was teasing Marissa about barely finishing one of them, then after digging in myself, I too stopped short of a standard double stack. The stack of eighteen remaining pancakes seemed that much funnier. "It would probably take us a week to eat all these," I said.

It's a good recipe to keep in my back pocket, I guess. Every now and then, you have to cook for someone whose stomach is seemingly a bottomless pit, and these super dense, fried pancakes could serve the same purpose as that ballistics gel used in the old Mythbusters TV show - stopping any bullet eventually.

As Marissa and Rodney sat eating, me in the kitchen finishing up the last pancake, I joked that the situation kind of reminded me of the that episode of the office during the "Michael Scott Paper Company" arc where Michael just kept making pancakes. Marissa has a gallery tomorrow and has lots of prep to do, so the joke landed with her and resonated with the situation.

Now that we're all fed and happy, Rodney is sitting on the couch watching Blippi, Marissa is starting to get things organized for tomorrow, and I retreated into our bedroom to write.

Yesterday was a great day. We rolled out of bed in Rochester in the late morning, packed the car, and departed just before lunch. We stopped for some bagels and hot coffee, then Marissa and Rodney dozed off, leaving me to listen to my boring tech podcast. We got home in the early afternoon, dropped off the grill to free up space in the car, then turned right back around to get on the highway and pick up the dogs. They came bursting through the doors circling us frantically. Rodney excitedly dropped on the floor to meet them. Fellow dog owners might be with me on this, but you really don't feel like you're home again until your dogs are there with you.

On the way home, we picked up Portillo's. After our late lunch, I unpacked the car while Marissa started setting up Christmas decorations. We had planned on picking up the Christmas tree from Hy-Vee that day, but we decided to stay in. We had plenty of leftovers to tide us over through dinner, and it just felt so good to be home again. To set the mood, I threw together a Christmas list that, at Marissa's request, was heavy on the Celine Dion. Marissa has a real gift with Christmas decorations. Every year she outdoes herself, and looking back at when we were first married and I insisted on taking care of all the Christmas lights. I wish we had photographic evidence of the sad strings of lights I haphazardly flung around the house, but that has yet to surface.

Rodney had a lot of energy from sleeping in the car and finally being in his own house, so it was a relief to put him to bed. He fell asleep immediately. Marissa was still working downstairs, and I decided to throw a couple hours of work into my annual mixtape. I made it through three tracks. This year, I'm being a lot more liberal with editing things. A lot of the music I listened to this year was either live or part of rougher cuts, so it's definitely necessary. I had such a wonderful time learning how to cut, cross fade, and equalize tracks with Audacity. Good things are coming - keep your eyes peeled for the finished product.

After I called it a night with the music mixing, I joined Marissa downstairs. We had sort of skipped dinner, so I heated up some leftovers and enjoyed them in the dining room, watching the office.

It feels good to return home at the beginning of a weekend. That dread around starting another regular work week still feels far off. Today, we're going to help Marissa get ready for her gallery, and if we get enough work done and Marissa feels prepared, we're going to go see a movie tonight. It will likely be Frozen 2, which depending on which critics you trust, is either twice as better as Frozen 1 or "an avalanche of half-formed ideas". Citation pending for that one - Marissa read it off of Facebook and the soundbyte still makes me laugh. I'll be even happier if it's true.

I'm having a hard time cranking out the last two hundred words this morning. Rodney joined me upstairs and is fiddling through my spare IT parts. I've always made a point out of letting him play with whatever computer junk interest him, even if he's just trying to pry off the cover of an old CD drive using a microphone USB, as he's doing now. He's also wearing a pair of behind the ear headphones, as if he's taking instructions from a command center. It's distracting, but only because I like watching him figure things out. Even though he has no idea what he's doing, he looks like he does, and that fascinates me.

That's what I got this morning. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you're home safe. And if you don't have turkey to eat, I recommend making some pancakes. And like Michael Scott, you should just push off all your responsibilities for the day - at least until you are out of pancake batter. Maybe wear a pair of crocs in the kitchen too, just to complete the real life Office reference. Thanks for reading. Here's to Saturday!