Monday, December 30 2019

moon, champagne, and taco t-rexs

Dear Journal,

Goedemorgen, everyone. I hope this Monday finds you well. This morning, I'm just about as cozy as possible, and it took a bit of work to get here. Justin and Megan are sleeping in the living room, and fearing that Ziggy would jump on the cot or the couch and start uncontrollably kissing them, I had to carry her through the living room. After unlocking the gate and tip-toeing by with Ziggy on my hip, I brewed a whole pot of coffee, started a load of dishes, then in batches returned some coffee travelers and the dogs back into our bedroom and shut the door.

So after feeding both dogs and taking two hushed trips up the stairs, I'm back in my bedroom with the door closed, and the dogs are back in bed with momma. And seeing the empty bottle of Southern Comfort in our kitchen, I have a feeling that Megan and Justin would appreciate the extra care in not waking them up too early.

Sip. I'm hanging in there, readers. But I'm not going to lie to you, I'm kind of a pathetic site this morning. My nose is running. I've been permanently wearing the same hoodie and pair of sweats for two days. Today, the name of the game is getting through Monday. I have only one day to work before I take off again for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (both apostrophes are intentional). I'm working from home, in an effort to keep my cold away from the rest of the team at work, and they appreciated that. "I'm working from home too," replied my coworker in our team slack. "Using Recker's all holidays toothbrush really backfired on me." He was joking, of course. For all intents and purposes, my coworker Alex has his own toothbrush.

Have you ever seen the movie Moon? Without spoiling too much of the movie, Sam Rockwell plays two versions of an astronaut sent to live on the moon and serve a seven year stint managing some kind of moon rock harvesting station. There is a version of him in the movie when he first got to the moon - healthy, stubborn, and restless - and a version of him at the end of his seven year stint - sick & weak, but patient and persistent.

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I pictured two versions of myself. One of them was beginning 2019. He was energetic and optimistic, but had a lot of unsolved issues with anger, and it made him a bit restless. But he was just discovering how good it felt to cook and clean, and he was eager build that into his personality. The other version of me was ending 2019 - sniffling, sneezing, still exhausted from traveling, but more patient and persistent. Still getting the dishes washed, clothes folded, food on the table - still getting the job done. I think at this point I've spoon-fed you the metaphor.

But I'm hanging in there. I'm actually looking forward to this evening - we've promised Justin and Megan that we'd make a campfire outside, and we've promised Rodney that we would take Justin and Megan bowling. And as long as we've got Dayquil and Nyquil stocked in the medicine cabinet, I'm game for both.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day. Marissa left in the late morning for agility, and Rodney and I hung around the house. I played the Bears game in the dining room while Rodney sat at his train table, occasionally strolling into the kitchen to check on what I was doing. I baked a big batch of saucijzenbroodjes, then heated up some soup for lunch. By the time Rodney went down for a nap in the afternoon, the Bears had eeked out a victory over the Vikings, which aside from nominally sparing us of shame of a losing season (we ended 8-8), amounted to nothing. In fact, the Vikings played their second string most of the time, treating this as an unofficial bye week before their turn in the playoffs. And that made everything good the Bears did feel gross, whether it was Monty's pile-moving touchdown, Kwit's safety, or Pineiro's game winning field goal. So congrats us - we barely beat the Viking's reserve of backup players, most of which hadn't set foot on the field all season.

After the game, I tried to take a nap, but it didn't stick. Rodney was thumping around and rambling to himself in his room, and it was too amusing to sleep. I finally called it quits around 4:30 and returned to the kitchen to prep dinner. Justin and Megan rolled in around five, and after greeting them at the door and setting them up with some drinks and broodjes, I got Rodney from upstairs. He handled most of the entertaining while I finished prepping dinner. From what I could hear, he took Megan and Justin through an itemized recap his new toys.

Shortly after Marissa returned home with Ziggy, we ate dinner. Kale salad with Greek lemon-garlic chicken & potatoes. We also shared a bottle of champagne to celebrate Megan and Justin's engagement. I made them wait until Marissa got home before they told the story. "Marissa will know what questions to ask," I jeered. "If you tell it to me, it's just gonna be a lot of 'OK then what happened'."

After dinner, we moved to the family room for what will probably be the last Christmas present opening ceremony of the Christmas season. Megan and Justin got Rodney some toys from both his current favorite TV shows, and a geode. Using a tupperware lid and a hammer, Marissa cracked the geode in half, revealing its shimmery center - a Christmas gift that's also a memorable activity. Pretty good, right? Megan and Justin bought us a Taco T-rex (a plastic dinosaur that props of tacos while you dress them), as well as a cookbook and a French chef's hat. Even though I was all done cooking for the night, I still wore the hat while I finished cleaning. I have to admit, I felt distinguished.

So that's what I got today. As I was writing this entry, making it further into this cup of coffee, I think I'm finally starting to perk up. I think I finally have the mental energy to bust out my laptop and work. If we're still pretending 2019 is the movie Moon, with only two days to go, it's safe to say I'm on my belly wrapped in a space blanket, inching closer and closer to the escape pod.

Hope you have a great day, everyone. Thanks for reading.