Thursday, February 06 2020

friends on the computer, po'boys, and swinging axes



Dear Journal,

Good morning! Happy Thursday. We’re almost done with this week, and I think that’s worth celebrating. I love the point in a busy work week when you ‘come up for air’, so to speak, and the weekend seems much closer than you thought. Our weekend waits a mere day away. I think we’re going to make it, everyone. I’m feeling pretty good this morning, and looking forward to attacking a day of work, getting home, and cooking something tasty.

Yesterday morning began with Rodney waking up in his room, peeking his head out the door, and moaning helooOOOOOO into our dark hallway until somebody heard him. Of course, sitting only in our bedroom, not only could I hear Rodney, but I could look over and see him from where I was typing at the computer. After finishing my morning journal entry, I beckoned him over, and soon we were downstairs grabbing something to eat.

I set Rodney up on the couch with a fresh outfit, a bowl of peanut butter cereal, and his favorite YouTube water slide playlist. He also manage to steal a bite from my cereal bar. Once he settled in on the couch, I left Rodney to remotely join morning our team’s stand-up from our dining room table.

The meeting continued, and hearing the commotion of our work talk mixed with joking around, Rodney got up off the couch and joined me at the table, leaning into the camera. I turned my laptop so we would both be in frame. Rodney started to ham it up, waving, miming with his Green Dino stuffed animal, and leaning in close to the camera. “What’s your take on configuration languages, Rodney? Is this functional style experiment worth exploring?” said my teammate Alex.

Uhduhuhderuhderuhder… don’t know. Hey, green dino!” Rodney hoisted Green Dino right up to the webcam. His antics were a welcomed brief comedic relief to our meeting, and Rodney appreciated the opportunity to say ‘hi’ to Daddy’s friends on the computer - something he now thinks can take place at any time on any screen in the house. You should have seen how disappointed he was to learn he couldn’t say goodnight to everyone on the computer screen.

I worked through the morning, and soon Marissa returned with the dogs from agility class. We moved to the kitchen to heat up some lunch. Rodney and I had leftover stamppot with red cabbage and chicken sausage. I doused mine generously with spicy horseradish sauce. Marissa, feeling queasy just opted for a grapefruit. “You guys go ahead,” she advised “I’m going to do one of my weird pregnancy breakfasts.”

I finished up lunch, then set up in our bedroom for some meetings, taking a beer with me. After finishing lunch and putting Rodney to bed, Marissa joined me in the bedroom to make dinner plans before leaving for another errand. That afternoon, she left for UW campus to hang up some of her art, which would be on display in a hallway in the continued education building.

I worked the rest of the afternoon, and by the time I shut my laptop Marissa had returned home. I crashed on the couch, followed closely by Rodney, who asked to watch a movie. “No dude, sorry,” I said while slumping backwards into the cushions. “Daddy had a long day, we’re going to watch his videos.” I queued up some YouTube videos, then feeling my eyes get heavy, I switched on some water slides for Rodney in hopes that he would let me drift off to sleep until dinner. I slept as much as you could have with a toddler bouncing on your stomach and legs.

We had talked earlier about going downtown for dinner, but the evening darkness and chill was seducing us into an easier evening, and we decided to eat at the Ale Asylum instead. We found a quiet table in the back, ordered some drinks, and soon our food arrived. I ordered a shrimp po’boy that was the size of a regulation football, and to my absolute horror, I finished everything on my plate. “I can’t help it,” I said to Marissa in the spirit of repentance. “This food goes down so smooth.” I had even removed the bread to pick at the shrimp, in hopes that would curb my appetite, but I finished my bread too.

As we sat enjoying the last few bits of our meal, Marissa and I griped about the week. “It’s a long one,” I said. “I’m tired, and I could use a weekend.”

I finished a second beer while chaperoning Rodney at the pinball machines. Maybe their initial charm and wonder have worn off, because Rodney was much more relaxed about them. He played through a five dollar bill, which he politely asked the bartender to break for him, adding “Thank… YOU SO MUCH!”

Marissa and I agreed to ‘tag team’ bedtime. That meant she takes care of the bath, pajamas, and teeth, and I get the bedtime story as well as the long meandering bedtime routine which Rodney sometimes takes advantage of. As Marissa drew a bath, I collapsed on our bed and shut my eyes, immediately waking up to a showered and pajama-clad Rodney leaping onto the bed with me. The shrimp po’boy felt like a bomb sitting in my stomach. “I’m sick from the Ale Asylum too,” said Marissa commiserating with me. “It goes down so smooth,” I said. “I think I just need to work through the pain.”

Last night was a work night. Along with Wednesday chores, we had to break down two tables in the basement and get them in the car so Marissa could carry them to the dump. We spent twenty minutes trying to find an allen wrench, then in a stroke of clarity, Marissa grabbed her saw instead. “I’m just going to saw the legs off,” said Marissa, widening her stance and holding the table up with one hand. One table down.

I managed to get the second table upstairs and outside on the deck. The legs were made of metal, so no sawing could be done, but I grabbed a rusty axe that was sitting in our shed and swung it at the top shelf. It broke in half, making a loud pop that reverberated off the neighboring houses. I felt satisfied. How often do you get to swing an axe, and when you do, how often does it work this well?

We concluded the night by moving our bookshelf into the basement. Our bedroom is looking eerily empty, which is encouraging, because floor refinishing week is just around the corner, and it feels good to make some noticeable progress on the massive undertaking.

Marissa and I crashed on the couch. I got an Italian Ice cup from the freezer spiked with a half shot of tequila. We watched the last hour of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was a good night.

I hope you have a great day today. As always, thanks for reading. I sincerely hope you too find an excuse to swing an axe at something this week - I highly recommend it.