Friday, July 3 2020

axes, dinosaur bites, garbage, and online groceries

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Welcome to Friday. I hope you're feeling well-rested this morning.

I have an interesting bit of blog trivia for you. Yesterday marked a full year from when I started making public semi-daily journal entries (see party, dumplings, and blogging). I spent some of yesterday morning reminiscing and paging through old posts. Waterparks. Outdoor concerts. Parties. Cookouts. What a different time it was, huh?

Sip. Looking at the clock, I see my soft deadline of 9:30 AM sailed by a long time ago. I blame my wife for that. After a late night of drinking beer and editing videos together, the odds of achieving a timely morning were already stacked against me, but Marissa pretty much sealed the deal when she beat me to the coffee pot and brought it upstairs.

Last night, Marissa and I were getting ready for a big weekend sale. Marissa made about fifty short videos holding each painting in her inventory against a light. Removing the audio and fixing the orientation on these proved to be an interesting, but gratifying scripting challenge. I make it sound like a big deal, but in reality it was just five minutes of research, ten minutes of watching a script comb over a folder of video files, then a bit of running around to put each computer in the house to work uploading the videos in batches of fifteen - an obnoxious limitation courtesy of YouTube.

Long story short, if your are currently the victim of a sad, blank wall in your home, tomorrow would be a great day to buy some art from Astuary Art.

Yesterday also entailed an exciting trip to the local recycling center. As you could imagine, hunkered down in quarantine we've accumulated an impressive amount of cardboard, Styrofoam, and scrap wood. And so after a quick breakfast, me and Rodney's morning began out in the driveway under the hot sun holding axes, staring down a defunct wooden dresser.

Rodney wasn't really holding an axe, by the way. It was actually a plastic mini-golf putter, but he took it just as seriously as I was. Together under the hot summer sun, we hacked apart the dresser and stacked the pieces of wood neatly in the corner.

Regrettably, Rodney incurred some injuries. I always forget that little kids don't intuitively know how to avoid splinters while handling wood. I can imagine his confusion feeling a sudden poking sensation in his finger tip or in his wrist. I didn't notice his itchy, irritated hand it until later in the afternoon.

"What's up with your hand, dude?" I asked.

"That's just my dinosaur bite," he replied.

"Dinosaur bite?" I asked. "Did a bug bite you?"

"Yeah!" replied Rodney.

"Was it a spider?" I asked.

"A big dragonfly," said Rodney. "Crawling in my shirt."

"It crawled in your shirt?" I asked with concern.

"It's a dinosaur bite." Rodney flexed his arm proudly. At that point, I resolved to do my best to not worry about it. Clearly Rodney wasn't worried about it. No big deal - it's just a dinosaur bite. Or a dragonfly. Or whatever.

Our family piled in the car and made our way to the recycling center. With only twenty minutes remaining in their operating hours, you can imagine our sense of urgency barreling down East wash with a baby, a toddler, and a medium sized family car filled to the brim with garbage.

"Bridge out," said Marissa, reading an upcoming sign. "Oh you have to be kidding me." Underneath a garbage bag filled with styrofoam, I slipped my phone out of my pocket to navigate a detour.

"We made it," said Marissa in relief. Parking in front of the dumpster, each piece of wood and cardboard we flung into the open dumpster felt more cathartic than the last. Is there a better feeling in the human experience than throwing away garbage?

A well deserved nap followed. Rodney and I emerged from afternoon sleep, and I decided to take him to the grocery store.

"Just a short errand," I clarified, changing him into a new pair of clothes. "We're going to stay in the car this time and let Hy-Vee get our groceries."

That's right - Rodney and I finally decided to kick the tires on Hy-Vee's online grocery pick-up, and I have to say I was pretty blown away. The process, from beginning to end, was pretty slick. We selected all the items from our short pilot grocery list, checked out with the website, and used text notifications to signal when we were on the way and when we parked.

For the essentials, it was a slam dunk. Going through as much flour as we do, I'd have a hard time complaining about ten pounds of flour dropped into my trunk with only an afternoon's notice. But we had a little trouble with the produce. From their webiste, it was hard to tell what 1 qty of russet potatoes actually was.

"One potato? But it says it's 0.8 pounds. That has to be at least three or four, right?" I pondered aloud at the computer.

It turns out it was just one potato. And to go with our single russet potato, our grocery curator also selected the saddest smooshed yellow onion I've ever seen.

Rodney and I picked up Portillo's on the way home. Hungry from the active day, we scarfed down our fries, hot dogs, and Italian beef like a pack of wolves.

Sip. I have some other exciting news to share. As it turns out, we have the honor of hosting our cousin dog Jojo with us this weekend. Auntie Kelly and Uncle Jeremy are en route to our house now.

"So Auntie Kelly says that Jojo likes to find interesting places to sleep. She might jump into our bath tub," I said to Marissa.

"Do we put a pillow and maybe a little blankie in the bath tub?" asked Marissa.

"No, then it wouldn't be chilly," I replied. "Clearly, Jojo likes a chilly place to sleep."

"Maybe just a pillow," said Marissa. "It can't be too chilly."

Dogs can be so complicated. I guess we'll just have to ask her when she gets here. Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. Hope you have a great holiday weekend.