Thursday, July 2 2020

dead shrimp, super powers, and scary paintings

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday. Today, I hope you stay close to your air conditioner as well as your coffee pot.

We're kicking things off this morning on a sad note, paying a small remembrance to the late cleaning shrimp Bruno, who regrettably crossed the rainbow bridge last night. Honestly, he probably kicked the bucket on Tuesday night, but there are enough forum posts about shrimp magically coming back to life after a period of inactivity that Marissa and I felt compelled to give him a whole 24 hours before declaring him dead.

This morning, his 24 hours expired, and a few of his legs even broke off his limp carapace and floated away like little pieces of bright red saffron.

Rest in piece, Bruno. You were a strong shrimp. Your broad shoulders and menacing glare gave us the impression that you were invincible. It hardly seems fitting that a warrior such as yourself would die doing something so mundane as molting your exoskeleton - frozen eternal as a little shrimp statue trying to wrestle his way out of a crunchy little t-shirt.

"Maybe the water is too hard," read Marissa. "It's says if the water is hard, their molts will be too tough to get out of, and they'll die. Then again - if the water is too soft, it says their molt will be too bendy to break and they'll die."

I gave Marissa a worried look.

"Cleaning shrimp are too hard," said Marissa. "I don't think we're ready for another one yet."

We just ask that if anyone wishes to offer their condolences to Rodney, please stick to the toddler version of the story. Bruno needs extra time at the shrimp hospital, and he'll rejoin our family when he is healthy. And furthermore, I did not (wink wink) fish Bruno's carcass out of the tank with a pair of chopsticks and drop him in the toilet this morning.

Sip. We're hanging in there. Despite the fish tank getting just a little less vibrant, Rodney and I had a great morning yesterday hanging around. After finishing up my chores for the morning, I joined Rodney at the dining room computer. He was getting tired of the same free twelve videos on the Nick Junior website, so I decided to introduce him to the Internet gem of the Addicting Games website. Together, we played old classics such as Excite Bike and Flappy Bird. We cackled together while playing a clicker beach volleyball game where you controlled these stiff avatars that flopped on the ground. Together, we both pondered the mystery of how anyone could find enjoyment in the game of mahjong.

After sending Rodney up to his room for some afternoon quiet time, I took a nap as well, then cleaned up from lunch and began to prep dinner. When it was time to get Rodney out of his room, he greeted me in the upstairs hallway with a power stance, flaunting the stickers that were covering his body.

"Hey Shred-head," he hissed.

"Oh, hey Shred-head," I replied.

"Dada," said Rodney. "I have powers." Rodney narrowed his eyes, then with an outstretched hand, he commanded a gust of wind to knock me back down the stairs. I embellished the fantasy, gasping and falling to my knees.

Rodney has been really into his "powers" lately. Sometimes he'll come find me, and through fake tears lament that his powers are gone. That's my cue to take a knee, and with my own powers I'll draw energy from the earth or something and shoot them into Rodney. And then of course, when we're feeling rascally, we can steal each other's powers or trick each other into giving up powers. I'd like to think we both innately know all these made-up rules surrounding imaginary super powers because we were both at one point three year old boys.

super powers

Beware. They say if you're close enough to see the smiling pineapple sticker on his forehead, it's too late.

Between fending off Rodney's powerful wind attacks, I prepared dinner. We had sausage rice pilaf with a tray of saucijzenbroodjes. And just to get something cold and crunchy on the plate, we ate it with sliced cabbage tossed in a quick lemony french dressing.

After putting Rodney to bed, I opened my closet to change into some more comfortable clothes. Opening my curtain, I shrieked, seeing the ghostly, misshapen visage of one of Marissa's botched practice drawings.

"This is terrifying," I called out from our bedroom.

"Oh, you finally found it?" said Marissa smiling, walking into our room. "I was practicing more faces, and this one doesn't work out."

"I like how that it's at an angle, it kind of goes with the face she's making," I replied. We both laughed, trying to recreate her puzzling face. "I think I'll keep it. It's a nice addition to my closet."

scary painting

It's like I have my own personal sassy ghost to mock my wardrobe decisions.

While cleaning up the kitchen, I took a break to enjoy a slice of Krang Bread with Marissa. I was really pleased with this batch. I've been finding a lot of joy experimenting with this recipe, looking for unnecessary steps to cut out. In yesterday's batch, I reproduced the entire ferment cycle with just a single strip of tinfoil, so no need for plastic bags or plastic wrap. I also stopped slashing to the top of the loaf and dusting it with flour. Marissa and I agree that the end loaf looks much better just left in tact.

I can't, however, justify skipping out on the 30 minute dough folds during the bulk ferment. While tedious at times, it really does make a difference in the texture. I set down my slice of bread on the window sill so I could get a picture of the soft crumb and big gassy bubbles.

krang bread crumb

Bread is just the best, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a wonderful day today.