Tuesday, December 31 2019

sneezing, bowling, and joker

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Hope you're doing well today. To set the scene here, the smell of bacon & slightly burnt butter lingers in the kitchen. Breakfast debris litters the dining room table. Justin and Megan can be overheard in our living room chatting and packing up their things. Marissa sits slumped over still in her chair from Breakfast, glaring at me with tired puppy dog eyes. "Are you ready for errand day?" I tease.

Despite being on the third day of my cold, I'm actually feeling pretty good. I've entered into the very silly chain-sneezing stage of things. And can I be honest? Sneezing is pretty fun. I'm not talking about the polite kind where you muffle it in your jacket or elbow, then as obligated by society, you have to convince everyone with Joaquin Phoenix acting that absolutely nothing came out of your nose. I'm talking about the kind of sneezes where you are by yourself in your bedroom, or maybe about to jump into the shower, and not only can you sneeze without covering your mouth, but you can also put your back into it. I guess In Rodney's case, where he hasn't yet learned about the social stigma of runny dangling boogers, that's just about every sneeze for him. And you have to envy that. This weekend, I'm also thinking about Justin and Megan. The three of us Reckers have been practically sneezing all over the place, and I hate the thought of helping this stupid little cold propagate. If they make it out of this house without a cold, you can count me amazed.

OK, there's probably an unspoken rule where you can spend more than a paragraph talking about boogers, so let's transition, shall we? Yesterday was a pretty great day. I worked from home and kept things pretty mellow. Marissa took Megan and Justin to her dog agility seminar in the afternoon while Rodney screwed around in the living room. To his advantage, I spaced out and didn't remember his 2:30 nap until 3:30. By the time I glanced up from my laptop, Rodney was standing aimlessly in the living room wearing my headphones, his construction goggles, and holding his Nerf gun.

Rodney slept, and soon Marissa returned home with her kin. After making a quick run to Hy-Vee to stock up on breakfast supplies, we went out to Mr. Brew's. That was the place we selected after a tumultuous deliberation on eat out places. Picking a place to eat is challenging because Marissa and I seemingly have a horror story for just about every restaurant around us, and even more so if we're talking about the restaurants that are actually open on Monday evening. But Mr. Brew's is a solid choice, as long as I steer clear of their Peanut Buster Burger - which I did. We finished eating and left just as their trivia night started.

Next stop was bowling. We parked at the Dream Lanes, got some shoes, and started chucking balls. We only had time for one game before Rodney's bed time, but sharing in Rodney's enthusiasm each time he knocked over even a single pin made for a full experience. I also must have played the best game of my life last night. For someone who can barely bowl over 80 most nights, you can imagine how surprised I was to bowl a 116 (citation pending, I was actually too excited to remember my exact score). Throughout the game, Justin and I enjoyed a Spotted Cow from the bar, which if you step back and judge fairly, is probably the best beer to bowl with.

On the way out, Auntie Megan slipped Rodney some change so he could buy a toy from the vending machine. The first toy that came out was an LA Chargers plastic football. He glanced at the toy, and immediately put it back in the chute, moving to the next machine with two more quarters financed by his kind auntie. This time, it yielded a sticky hand, and that was good enough to leave.

When we got home, Rodney went to bed, and the four of us crashed on the couch with some snacks to watch the rest of Joker. Having an hour left to watch before turning in for the night yesterday, we were all pretty pleased with the movie. "That's wasn't bad," I said offering a passing review. "The love story felt a little wedged in, but Joaquin kind of carries the movie."

Well picking up where we left off, the movie took a real nose dive. As the movie marched on with long gratuitous establishing shots of Joaquin dancing around weirdly in his apartment (which was also a blatant rip-off of taxi driver), the plot holes abounded, and then at the end of the movie (spoiler coming), they hit you with the old he's insane and most of this probably wasn't real trick. The film continues to meander until the climax, where Joaquin magically incites an angry, murderous riot with a stammering speech that sounded cobbled together from unrelated Bullet for My Valentine lyrics - the kind of stuff you'd write on your notebook in ninth grade with a really dark black gel pen. Not to mention he somehow got on the Late Show by appearing in a viral video. It's the 80s. There's no YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. Are we supposed to believe the VHS tape of him flopping at a comedy club was copied and distributed so rampantly that he was asked to appear on the Late Show?

To sum up, Joker was a bad movie, and it wasn't even bad in the fun way. We rounded off the night by watching an episode of Seinfeld. I picked Season Nine's The Merv Griffin Show, which weirdly enough fit with the theme of the Joker.

So that's what I got today. Going forward, our New Year's Even will be finally putting the house back together, taking down Christmas lights, and hopefully watching a better movie than Joker. And who knows, maybe I'll even take a shower. Caught up the hustle of traveling and hospitality, I've missed a few days and I've gotten to the point where I'm afraid to take my yellow beanie off.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's eve. I suppose I should take some time to reflect on all the journal entries I've completed. Expect that soon - but not now. Cleaning now - thinking & reflecting later.