Friday, March 20 2020

skipping showers, space alien miles, and a new blog theme

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Friday.

I think I needed a weekend. When you're hanging around your house all the time in quarantine, it's easy to forget how tired you are. This morning in bed I was dangerously close to falling back asleep. I nodded off a few times, and woke to my phone dropping out of my hands and hitting my chin. It's been a long week, and I'm looking forward to a weekend. Even if I'll still just be hanging around the house, it's nice to take some time off of thinking about work. Maybe I'll find time for a nap, and maybe we'll treat ourselves to some junk food. A frozen pizza? A big bowl of cheese balls?

I skipped a shower today. That's a great move during these tough quarantine times. Instead of frantically and mechanically scouring myself under hot water and sleepily bumbling back and forth from the bathroom to my closet, I just sat at our dining room bar and stared out the window. It was like a shower for my brain, and it was way less overhead than an actual shower.

Sip. I'm still waiting on my big coffee shipment to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, I've been force to conserve the last bit of coffee we had, so I brewed a much weaker pot today.

I had a nice, quiet day of work yesterday. It was a very "academic" day. The day before, I drafted up a proposal, and I spent most the day following up on questions and comments.

"I knew you were focused on something when you didn't come down for lunch until 12:30," said Marissa. "You were so excited to eat the sandwich you made."

"That's true," I said, joining her on the couch with lunch. Earlier that day I had joked about eating my lunch at 10. I normally eat lunch at 11:30. I like to think that extra hour the sandwich had in the fridge gave the oil more time to soak into the cabbage, and it made it taste even sweeter.

We all ate lunch together in the living room. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was blaring out of the TV. Rodney was relaxing in his box fort, snacking on a cut up sandwich and some vegetables. The box fort is sticking around. We noticed it gives Rodney a nice place to eat snacks in front of the TV while offering protection from a hungry, stalking Ziggy. She encircled the box like a frustrated coyote. Finally giving up on the hunt, she put her paws on the fort window and let her ears sweep back. She just had to resort to begging.

After work, I ventured out to Hy-Vee. The outside world is doing well. The grocery store still feels strange with tight nit groups of people actively avoiding contact from others. "Everyone shops with their head down," I told Marissa after coming home. "I kind of felt like... Ofred?" Marissa looked at me puzzled.

"You know that show we watched and didn't like. The one with... Ofred in it," I clarified. I was frustrated that the name Ofred was the only thing I could remember about the show.

"Ah, Handmaiden's tale," filled in Marissa. I shot her a silent 'thank you' with a finger gun.

We continued chatting about the strangeness of the quarantine. "It's weird right now that I can just say 'stay safe' to strangers on Instagram, and they know what I'm talking about," said Marissa. "Everybody on the planet right now is doing and thinking the same thing."

Marissa took a nap on the couch. I went downstairs with Rodney to play some video games. We tooled around with a game of Skate before I headed upstairs to cook some dinner. I encouraged Rodney to hang out and keep playing, but instead he jumped to his feet and followed me up the stairs. I put him to work sorting some groceries while I made fried rice.

Marissa and I had considered the risk involved in my daily grocery trips. I agreed to not go as often, with the trade-off that I rely on some basic, repetitive meals like fried rice and hash to take the pressure off. "I don't want to get to the point where we're eating the same thing every other day," I told her. "I'll try to jazz it up with other leftovers and make it taste good."

This batch got a handful of cabbage as well as the rest of Rodney's celery and carrots he didn't finish for lunch. I also really opened up the heat, and I wasn't shy with the butter and soy sauce. I topped each bowl with a little scoop of fried shallots. It was a good batch.

After dinner, we had a remote call with Mimi and Poppa in the living room. They too were snuggled up, and they were in good spirits despite everything happening. Rodney was excited to see them, running back and forth from his play corner to the phone to show Mimi and Poppa each toy he was playing with these days. In fact, Rodney got so excited, he accidentally busted a light bulb while throwing around baby giraffe. Tiny pieces of glass fell, covering the living room floor. "Uh oh," said Rodney.

"We'll have to call you back," said Marissa. I got off the couch to let Ziggy outside. "Good time for bed, I think," I said, scooping Rodney up so he wouldn't step on any glass. "You gotta be careful, dude," I said as we went up the stairs.

After putting Rodney to bed, Marissa and I jumped into our individual work for the evening. I knocked out an IT ticket and worked on my blog while she painted the baby room ceiling. Before heading downstairs for some R&R, we had a 'show and tell' session. Marissa led me into Miles' room, which she painted a deep, friendly swirling black and grey, speckled with little white stars. There were also some cartoony planets, rocket ships, and space men sprinkled throughout. "And you even got my flying saucer in!" I exclaimed. I was very insistent on at least one flying saucer, and for extra points, Marissa agreed to paint a little space alien in the cockpit giving the peace sign.

"It's appropriate," I said. "Miles is basically like a little space alien."

I showed Marissa the new layout for my blog. I stripped it down and went back to a more basic HTML and CSS feel. I also broke out the home page into smaller pages like "stats" and "contacts".

"I like it," said Marissa. "You know the last one was too floofy. This one is more you." I smiled appreciatively. You know, for someone who wears the same thing every day and surrounds himself with as many plain, muted, pastel colors as possible, I can be surprisingly picky. But I'm happy with the new blog theme.

Thanks for stopping by this morning. Hope you all have a wonderful Friday. Remember - don't let the virus get you down.