Saturday, January 04 2020

french toast, rodney stories, and back problems



Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Saturday. Hope you’re feeling good, and ready to make the most of the weekend - or not, that’s just fine too. We chose to sleep in a bit this morning, and I spent the morning drinking coffee, listening to music, and making French toast. Let me tell you, every time I make French toast with my little nonstick pan, I fall a little more in love with nonstick. I don’t know why I was so against the idea at first, but it’s clear to me now that nonstick is the apex predator of frying things in butter. Cast iron has worked fine more me in the past, but it takes too long to heat up, and by the time it’s hot, it just wants to keep getting hotter and will likely burn your butter.

So this morning, we were all sitting around the table eating breakfast and chatting. To our great amusement, we sat for a while in silence just watching Rodney wolf down four strips of bacon. He’s hitting a growth spurt - we’ve noticed he’s saying newer phrases, a little better at talking, and starting to eat more and ask for different foods.

Here’s a funny Rodney story that I forgot to share. On New Year’s day, I was getting him out of bed and doing my best to explain New Year’s, resolutions, and what the holiday means. As I was getting him ready for the day, I posed the question “Do you have a New Year’s resolution?” Rodney paused for a long time, and I started to get excited, thinking he would have a meaningful, thoughtful answer. “Peanut butter and jelly,” he said breaking his thought. “Cut in triangles.” I ask Rodney a lot of questions, but I’ve started to suspect that when he doesn’t understand what I’m talking about, he just assumes I’m asking him what he wants for lunch.

Let’s talk about some more Rodney silliness, shall we? Last night, we decided to watch some Dude Perfect Trick Shots while Marissa was cutting Rodney’s hair. He really took to the idea, and afterwards he spent a half hour running around doing trick shocks. “HOCKEY TRICK SHOCK,” he’d yell as he’d run over to grab his tiny plastic hockey stick and ball. He’s wind up and swing, knocking the ball a few feet, then take off in a circle with his arms extended yelling LEEEEEET’S GOOOOOO. Marissa and I have been regular watchers of Dude Perfect for a while, and it was only a matter of time before it became a family affair. If you’re uninitiated, I’d check it out. They’re the kind of guys that you wish you could hate, but they’re so likable and silly, and you can’t help but envy that their day job is pretty much just playing with Nerf Guns, jet skis, and ping pong balls.

Sip. The coffee is good today. This morning I brewed a separate pot of that tequila infused coffee I got for Christmas. It packs a pleasant caffeine buzz, and the aftertaste of tequila in the morning is actually kind of mysterious and intriguing.

So yesterday was a pretty great day. I spent the morning quietly writing, wrapping up my work for the week, and putting the final touches on my new work laptop. I finally got upgraded to one of those Macbook Pros with the fancy touch bar. I use my own separate keyboard, so it really doesn’t bother me. Actually, the flickering touch bar makes me look busier when I work. When I type, it flashes word suggestions on the screen, and I like how the brightness and volume buttons morph into a slider when you press them. I know longer have an actual power button, which is a bummer. Especially since the alternative is apparently just mashing my trackpad and enter key until the computer decides to wake up. It’s never even clear to me if it’s turned off or just sleeping. Who asks for these things? If you ask me, turning a piece of equipment on and off is the most fundamental interaction. Why do newer computers treat this like an afterthought?

Yesterday afternoon got a little rough. Continuing work after lunch, my back started to get a little tight, and I feared a back spasm was coming on. I drank a glass of water, then retreated into the Ki Gong room to stretch and lay on my back for a half hour. Luckily, the pain subsided, but one spasm and one near-spasm in the same week is kind of troubling. Before this week, I hadn’t had a spasm in several months. I stopped occupational therapy, assuming the problem disappeared. But now the thought of picking that all up again, doing stretches, and scheduling appointments is kind of exhausting.

“I bet it was playing Splinter Cell,” I said last night, thinking aloud while Marissa was in the dining room. “I always have terrible posture when I play that game, and I had two long playing sessions when we got home.” Marissa nodded.

I remember back when the therapist described to me the problem of nerve inflammation, and how if it got worse, it would require surgery to pluck the nerves up like a guitar string and move them to the other side of my elbows. The thought makes me shudder, and I hope it doesn’t happen.

Sip. It feels nice to have an empty weekend. Today, I’m going to take down the Christmas lights while Rodney plays outside. I’m going to try to get the last of my 2019 mixtapes in the mail. In the evening, we’re going to go bowling. Hey - we have to make time for it. In 2020, we committed to being a bowling family, and this family takes our commitments seriously. Sure - it’s not always going to be easy finding time to go to the bowling alley, but resolutions take work, and we’re here for it. Tomorrow, we’re going to go to church and continue lounging around the house. There’s also some football on tomorrow. With the Bears eliminated, I’ve decided to hitch my casual attention to the New Orleans Saints for the duration of the playoffs. Tomorrow, they play the Vikings, and if they win (I’m pretty sure they will), they go on to play the Packers. Did you know they also have the Pope’s blessing?

That’s what I got today. Hope you have a great Saturday. Let’s do this!