Thursday, April 9 2020

politics, quesadillas, sandwiches, and wrestling

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone, and a happy Thursday to you! The end of the work week is nigh - just hang in there one more day. Easy for me to say, as I took off work today for my wife's birthday today. Using PTO on a Thursday is a good move because, as we all know, Fridays are basically a victory lap, so it's the equivalent of getting two days off.

Yesterday after wrapping up my morning entry, telling the winding, harrowing tale of how we frantically filled out our ballots and got them in the mail just before the deadline, I logged online to find that Bernie Sanders had suspended his campaign.

That stung a bit. In my heart of hearts I knew that at this point he was only sticking around in hopes of pulling Biden's platform further left with debates, but once the debates stopped happening it was only a matter of time. And it's a shame, too. Without the jeering, booing, and mouth-breathing of a live studio audience, the debates were really pleasant to watch.

"Well godspeed, Joe Biden. I hope your robust platform of returning to civil politics polls really well with fascists," I wrote in an angry post in my family's politics slack channel. That counted toward my one allotted Bernie supporter hissy fit for the day.

Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter exploded with discussion. "The Bernie bros are in shambles," I read. "Biden is not my first pick, second pick, or - hell - even my sixth pick. But defeating Donald Trump is more important than anything," or to sum up, "vote blue - no matter who."

"The DNC is to blame for shoving another garbage centrist candidate down our throats. Biden already had their full buy-in before the election even started," went the counterpoint. "It's time to send the DNC a message: Bernie or BUST."

It's an interesting time for the democratic party. I think Joe Biden inherited a cats game. If he makes his platform sound a little more like Bernie, he might court the younger millenial vote, but he'll also probably spook the centrists and he won't get as many votes. If he stays true to his moderate roots, the millenials will probably stew over the rejection of Bernie, and he won't get as many votes. But apparently millenials are bad at voting anyway. I think it's very unlikely that Biden will win, and after the election the democrats will have to cushion the blast of another hand grenade of disappointment and blame.

It's a stimulating time for politics. Marissa and I have been talking about it a lot lately. It's a great way to pass the time while cooped up in our houses, but you have to be careful. Discussing politics can take a dark turn. Vigor easily turns into sadness.

Sip. I made quesadillas yesterday. Around lunch time just before heading upstairs with a biertje and a re-heated bowl of stamppot, I grabbed two tortillas out of the fridge along with mozzarella, cheddar, and a little baggie of cilantro. I fried one large quesadilla in butter, adding a pinch of cumin and chipotle seasoning for an almost imperceptible heat in the melted cheese. They turned out great, but the best part about them was I had a chance to use up three very perishable leftover ingredients right out of the fridge. I brought it to Marissa and Rodney on a platter.

The work day continued. I was in an out of meetings, coding sessions, and slack threads. Toward the end of the day I was able to pull away and hack on my work while Rodney napped. At five, I pushed my code and shut my laptop for the day.

At five, I got Rodney up from his nap and set him up with some TV. Marissa painted in the basement. I fixed some sandwiches in the kitchen out of some leftover homemade ciabatta bread. During this quarantine, I have discovered a deep love of sandwiches. They don't take much time to put together, and it's easy to smuggle leftovers into the ingredients and add subtle variety with forgotten condiments. Yesterday, I fried some bacon and used the bacon fat to fry a leftover off cut of red onion and some spare chunks for red pepper - another win for using up the perishables in the fridge. I tossed them together in red cabbage, olive oil, and balsamic dressing. Marissa joined me in the kitchen just in time to witness the final assembly of bread, mustard, turkey, bacon, a discrete dab of mild smoky hot sauce, mayonnaise, and the sweet tangy red cabbage salad mixed from the vegetables. I wrapped each sandwich in foil and stacked them neatly in the fridge.

We watched TV on the couch for a bit, then gathered at the table to eat. Rodney was in a silly mood, and even though he was cooped up all day because of the rain, he had plenty to say. Before putting him to bed for the night, we wrestled in our bedroom. I picked Rodney up by his legs and flung him onto our bed. He rose to his feet and put his dukes up, waiting me to attack again. I swept his leg, tripping him, and he'd lean into the fall to bounce again.

"Let's go really high this time, dude," I said. Rodney hesitantly let me grab his arm and leg. I flung him into the air. He flipped, landing awkwardly on his chest. After scrambling to his feet, he held his chest in pain and whimpered.

"Oh dude, did you get the wind knocked out of you? That's OK," said Marissa giving him a hug.

"Sorry dude," I said joining in. "Just shake it off dude, it's OK. See? Feeling better?" After a few more redemptive flips to end on a high note, I put Rodney to bed. We read a story, then took a moment to talk about his day. I've been trying to get Rodney to reflect on things more, so as usual, I ended the night with some basic questions.

"What did you do today?" I asked.

"I dunno," shrugged Rodney. I needed to be more specific.

"What TV shows did you watch," I asked. Rodney stared at the wall, then his eyes widened with recall.

"X-men. Aaaaaaand... Story Bots!" he exclaimed.

"Nice dude! Wasn't that fun wrestling? Hey - what happened in there, did you get hurt?" I asked with concern.

"Dada, it was so high. Too high," said Rodney, taking the tone of a parent scolding their child. I meekly nodded.

"Yeah you're right dude. It was very high - I'm sorry," I replied. "But it was a lot of fun too, and you didn't get too hurt, right?"

Rodney nodded. "Yeah. But it was so high."

Thanks for stopping by this morning. Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone. Oh, and of course, Happy Birthday to my beautiful, talented, amazing wife Marissa. Please wish her a happy birthday if you get the chance.