Monday, January 27 2020

exercise, the grammys, pizza, and planning



Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone - and happy Monday. I hope when you wake and read these, you’re feeling good and ready to attack this final week in January.

I’m certainly feeling well rested. Yesterday, after we bid farewell to Kelly, Jeremy, Alice, Frankie, and their wonderful puppies Jo-Jo & Becca, the Recker family kept things about as low-key as possible. Rodney cruised through two back-to-back Disney movies on the couch before heading upstairs to take a nap. Marissa and I watched some YouTube videos. I queued up a Food Wishes recipe video for Cincinnati style chili, which in the end pretty much just amounted to boiled ground beef dumped over spaghetti. “Please don’t make that,” were Marissa’s parting words before slipping into an afternoon nap of her own. I cracked open a beer, and went upstairs to give Marissa more room on the couch, but soon the beer sent me into a nap as well. As winter darkness fell, our house slept off a full, action-packed weekend of family, cooking, and water parks.

I sat up in bed at 6:45, and I sleepily crept down the stairs with a mission of ordering something for dinner. Marissa had the dogs, blankets, and pillows arranged around her like a scene from a Renaissance painting. I gently shook her, and she raised her head just long enough to agree on a pizza place.

We settled on Sal’s pizza. I ordered it at the computer, Marissa shouting YES and NAH to a list of custom toppings from the living room as I read them aloud from my chair. In the style of an annoying brother, I took time to read every single ingredient alphabetically, even the ones I knew she would never order. “OLIVES? JALAPENOS? SMOKED VEGAN CHICKEN? VEGAN SMOKED GOUDA? SMOKED OLIVES?”

I ordered a large fig and bacon pizza for me and Rodney to share. After our food arrived, we woke Rodney and stowed away the dogs so he could join enjoy the pizza on the couch. I found a free online stream of the Grammy’s and wired it up to the living room TV. Still in his pajamas from that morning, Rodney was oddly content sitting there watching the Grammy’s with us.

While plating the pizza, I noticed they gave us the wrong order. Rather than fig and bacon, they brought us some kind of custom pizza with tomatoes, roasted garlic, and wads of smoked cheese. Marissa called the EatStreet driver. “OK, we figured we’d just call you first in case it was sitting in your car or something,” she said over the phone. “So we would just have to order a new pizza,” I said. Marissa nodded. “So it will just be another hour,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Whatever, we’ll eat this, it actually looks pretty good.” In hindsight, perhaps getting the wrong pizza was the universe judging me for being so annoying while ordering Marissa’s custom pizza.

For the rest of Rodney’s evening, we sat on the couch, munching on pizza and heckling the Grammy performances in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3K. At one point, while Camila Cabello was performing, Rodney pointed at the TV and remarked, “Oh, that’s momma.” Still chewing a bite of pizza, Marissa leaned in to clarify. “Wait, who is that?”

“That’s momma,” Rodney said, smiling to himself. Marissa got misty eyed. “That makes me so happy dude,” she said. We put Rodney to bed together, changing him out of his morning pair of PJ’s and into a clean evening pair. “You gotta love the days where it’s just nothing but pajamas, right dude?” I said while changing him. We tucked him in, and after bedtime prayers, we congratulated Marissa one last time on a successful Grammy performance.

After putting Rodney to bed, I floated into the bedroom to exercise. Why would I do that? Did I hit my head at the waterpark and develop sudden amnesia? Do I have multiple personalities? No, I simply decided I’d like to mix in a modest amount of muscle building into my day-to-day routine. For whatever reason, for me this is the year of creating routines to follow, and I’m not about to become a full blown gym rat or anything. I’m sticking to push-ups and sit-ups. I decided to workout daily Sunday through Thursday, doing two sets of each - first my maximum amount, and after a minute of rest, one last set of half my maximum. This week, I’m at ten push-ups and twenty sit-ups.

The new regimen was painful - especially after eating a pizza topped with smoked cheese - but overall it was a great way to get the heart pumping before evening chores. Listening to some pump-up music, I finished cleaning the kitchen, took the garbage out, wiped down our dining room table, and cleaned out the car.

At eleven, Marissa and I met upstairs for our Sunday night meeting. “I’m really excited about our Sunday night meeting,” Marissa told me earlier this weekend. I felt the same. It’s a good routine.

We tallied up the points we completed, discarded the finished cards, then went through each stack of cards we still had in the drawer - editing, re-ordering, and negotiating. Having made so much progress on the basement this past week, we’re finally ready to start moving things downstairs. This week, I also hope to rebuild my router with fewer parts, which will make for a small but noticeable improvement to the look of the IT shelf. Marissa took a ticket to call a plumber for the basement drain. “I’m not looking forward to that,” she shared. “It worries me, and it’s starting to smell.”

In two minutes, my on-call week of on-call will be over. In celebration, I might go for a long walk and take a quiet unplugged lunch somewhere in the building where I won’t be bothered. Hope you have a fulfilling day today, staying warm, fed, and focused. Thanks for reading.