Tuesday, February 11 2020
de-scaling, shipping, eating out, and haircuts

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Tuesday. I hope you’re feeling energy this morning, staying warm, and staying focused on your goals. I also hope you, like me, have a nice warm cup of coffee to help you keep things under control. Our coffee is hitting me just right this morning. A few days ago I finally got my act together and cleaned our coffee maker, using a special packet of descaling agent and general cleaning solution that arrived in the mail in tiny white boxes. “That looks like birth control,” said Marissa, seeing me rip open the tiny white boxes. She’s right - one box even had a strip of pink on the label, and the other blue.

Now descaled (and added to the monthly chore rotation), it practically tastes brand new. “I gotta hand it to you,” I told Marissa. “I think you are just more sensitive to bad coffee. I must have a higher tolerance for drinking the terrible stuff.” And it’s true - if not for her complaining, I would have probably put it off for another month, letting our coffee maker get more… scaley? In the same spirit of things, I’m trying to stay on top of our water quality. So once a month henceforth, not only will I break out the coffee machine birth control, but I will also lug a heavy bag of water softener salt down the stairs and dump it into the plastic tank.

Yesterday was a good day. I worked from home in the morning, expecting to help Marissa get the paintings into the freight truck sometime in the morning. But as these things usually work, morning passed, lunch passed, and the truck wouldn’t actually arrive until the late afternoon. But I still appreciated the slow start to the week, attending some meetings upstairs from our bedroom and hacking on some code in the living room while Rodney played. For lunch, I scarfed down some goulash leftovers standing in the kitchen, eating them right out of microwaved tupperware.

This week at work, I’m kicking off a new project with our tech lead, researching some options for putting our team to work in the realm of client side secret management. We’re also getting ready for some visiting higher ups who will want to sit down with our team and hear about what we’re working on.

Around 4, Marissa got a call from UPS saying that the driver would be there within the half hour. I shut my laptop and helped her hoist the heavy box out to the driveway. We stood it up on its side and patiently waiting. Twenty minutes later, she got another call from UPS. I could tell from her end of the phone call that they were trying to negotiate postponing the pick-up. “I’m sorry, but I need it out today. I feel like I was pretty generous and flexible, we hung around the house all day and I need this thing to head out,” she said sternly. More chatter proceeded. “Is there anything I could have done to make this go more smoothly,” she added.

Marissa hung up the phone. “They wanted to push it a day, I said no, and then suddenly two drivers were available to do it,” she said rolling her eyes. Her phone rang again, and after a brief conversation, she hung up and reported, “he’s on the beltline, he’ll be here in twenty minutes.” I trotted into the house to get the football. With Rodney upstairs sleeping and the dogs waiting patiently in their crates, we had a rare opportunity to play a true game of outside catch, undisturbed. Marissa and I laughed as we both tried to adjust to the cold and longer throwing range. “Our living room must be pretty small, it’s making me look bad,” I laughed, lobbing the ball sloppily toward her feet. Marissa threw it back - a better throw than mine, but skewed slightly toward the grass. I made a over enthusiastic diving catching, landing in the neighbor’s front lawn and rolling into a snowbank.

The UPS truck arrived, and we hoisted the paintings into the truck. Marissa recognized the driver from last time she had to ship a big painting. “We’re much more prepared this time,” she said proudly patting the box. After a few last throws of the football, we retreated back inside. Our house felt - and our week - felt lighter without the giant box looming over our living room. “I feel like I can finally close my eyes and rest,” said Marissa climbing underneath a blanket on the couch. We rested, letting the TV play quietly in the living room as the sun went down. Marissa dozed off, and I hacked on some ‘fun’ code on my laptop. Soon, Rodney joined us in the living room, contentedly playing with some toy airplanes on the couch between us.

“Time to go out to eat?” I said. The family stirred, and after putting the dogs upstairs and getting bundled up, we jumped in the car bound for Glass Nickel, which has been making a comeback lately in the lazy eat out portion of our week. We found a comfortable booth. Marissa and I sat at the end, and Rodney scooted all the way down towards the wall at the other end of the booth. Marissa and I smiled, amused at his sudden demand for ample personal space. Rodney busily played with his toy planes and drew on his magnet pad, trying to forget that we were watching him.

Rodney continued drawing on his magnet pad. “Do we have to teach him letters?” said Marissa breaking the silence. I furrowed my brow and shook my head. “Nah, that’s a school thing. Plus I bet he already knows him.” Marissa turned toward Rodney. “Hey Rod,” she said. Rodney paused and looked up, taking a sip of milk. “Can you draw an O?”

“Coming right up,” muttered Rodney picking up his pen. He drew a large, deliberate circle and proudly held up his magnet pad. “Now draw an E,” I said. Rodney drew a capital E, filling up the whole pad.

We finished dinner, drove home, and put Rodney to bed. Marissa gave me a haircut in the bathroom. “I’m sorry it’s been so long since we got around to this,” said Marissa as tuffs of scruff fell rolled off my shirt onto the bathroom floor. “Hey, I wasn’t asking for one either, that’s on me too,” I replied. Staring blankly at the mirror while Marissa cut my hair kind of reminded me of that one Beyonce album cover where she’s cutting Jay Z’s hair in the bathroom - only a much less cool version of the scene. Don’t get me wrong - I have my own brand of self-esteem, but I’m not Jay-Z.

I wrapped up a few chores, and we ended the night with a quick YouTube binge and a movie while I enjoyed a beer on the couch. It was a good day.

Here’s to Tuesday. Hope you have a great day today, and thanks for reading.