Tuesday, July 7 2020

shredhead, ebay police, and french sauces

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Tuesday. I hope this summer, this week, this morning is treating you well so far.

Drinking this cup of coffee, I feel so spoiled today. Yesterday, we got a fresh new bag of coffee in the mail, and it happened to also fall on the same day where I de-lime the coffee machine every month. So as long as I had some coffee stuff to put away, I decided to give the coffee machine a detail cleaning. I took out every component, rinsed it, and let them dry on a towel all night - the premium package. And after re assembling or coffee grinder, brewer, and carafe and making a fresh pot with newly opened beans... ooh boy, this is good stuff.

Sip. We had a pretty good day yesterday. We decided to lay low and hang around the house until Kelly and Jeremy picked up Jojo. Jojo was so excited to go home that she climbed out of the tub and even wagged her tail a bit, but being a few hours early, she would spend the rest of the morning awkwardly standing around in the living room.

"It was so nice having you, Jojo. I hope you had a restful weekend in our tub," I said. Jojo, unaffected by my polite words, stared at me blankly. After being a guest in someone's home for a whole weekend, she was probably just feeling socially drained, and I could understand that feeling. If I were her, I'd be a little zapped too. "Don't worry, Jojo. Soon you'll be in your own tub."

jojo stare

I'm a dog. Where is my dad?

Kelly and Jeremy parked in our driveway. Jeremy stopped at our dining room window. Jojo stood on her hind legs and gave him a kiss through the window - her tail thumping wildly.

"Awww," said Marissa. "She probably missed her daddy so much. This is literally the most excited she's been all weekend."

Marissa took Miles to the doctor, leaving me and Rodney to hang around the house. I put on some Blippi for Rodney and caught up on some cleaning, but after the first video, Rodney wandered into the kitchen looking for a fight. We're back to the super hero Rodney persona, for those wondering. That's the one where Rodney wears one of Marissa's braided headband on his head and a pair of thick, wooly socks on his arms pulled tight past his elbows. Rodney was in full super hero gear, but he looked sad.

"Oh no," said Rodney. "Dada - you're not shredhead anymore." I turned, shutting off the sink faucet and patting my hands dry on my apron.

"What do you mean I'm not shredhead anymore," I replied.

"Dada," said Rodney. "You lost your power." I finally caught on. Rodney wasn't really sad - this was just a bit.

"HA," I scoffed. "You think I can just lose my power?" I hissed, approaching Rodney with menacing steps. "Do you know how powerful I am?" My fists curled, and Rodney took a fighting stance. I scooped a foam sword off the ground.

"THERE IS NO END TO MY POWER!" I shouted, brandishing the foam sword. "FOR I AM SHREDHEAD. I WILL DESTROY YOU."

Rodney handed me his toy night vision goggles. That was my cue to affix them backwards around my face so the battery back would cover my mouth - a homemade Shredder mask. Rodney dodged my fearsome slashes with his super speed.

"I WILL CRUSH YOU" I shrieked, lobbing Rodney onto the couch like a throw pillow.

After re-filling the Blippi video hopper, I recused myself from battle so I could get back to work. The next chore of the day was relisting Marissa's camera on ebay. Initially, I went with the lazy option of just letting ebay provide it's own stock image of the camera. I would have thought this concept of "least effort first" was pretty universal - after all, the camera lens sold just fine without homemade pictures. But my ebay inbox was buried in a barrage of oddly smug messages lecturing me about how I should never sell anything without an image of the actual product. "You must be new to ebay" writes one user. "You must always include a picture of the product otherwise it won't sell."

I was tempted to be a smart ass. I thought about replying "But this is my camera - how do I take a picture of a camera?", stringing them along in a long, pointless, frustrating conversation with someone playing dumb out of revenge.


I don't understand, sir. Do I need to use mirrors?

So I re-listed it. This time, I wrote my own description and included plenty of glamour shots. And now my phone is ringing off the hook with bids. And no more smug messages from the volunteer ebay police either.

Even though I don't know anything about photography, I found plenty to admire about her camera. It's heavy, sturdy. It feels like a machine crafted with precision. No smudges, scratches, or even finger prints. The whole thing just looks so timeless and classy. This camera is going to make someone very happy.

Later that afternoon, after a quick nap, I made my way through the living room to start on dinner. Miles was angrily hissing and stirring in his crib, no doubt feeling sore and achy from the shots he received at the doctor. Marissa gave me a sad look from the couch.

"Ah, could you not sleep?" I asked. Marissa wearily shook her head. "He's just too fussy from the doctor. Could we put him in the kitchen?"

I set up Miles in his chair in the corner of the kitchen while I started on dinner. First order of business was getting a pan of yukon gold potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven. Next, I sauteed some mushrooms and set them aside. For the main course, I browned some pork medallions in a pan and made a creme garlic pan sauce. The pork loin was still a bit frozen in the middle, so they proved to be a bit of a battle, but I was much happier with the sauce this time around. I gave it plenty of time to reduce and infuse with the mushrooms.

Sauce can be difficult. Managing heat, saltiness, consistency, thickness, timing - it can be tricky keeping all the variables in check. After trying a few French sauces on my own at home, it's easy to see why a saucier is a dedicated job in the French kitchen.

Miles was still fussing angrily in the corner. Rodney had wandered into the kitchen and proceeded to slosh a wet cardboard box around the floor.

"What is this? What are you doing?" I said looking down at Rodney.

"I'm cleaning," he said. I gruffly handed Rodney a wad of paper towels.

"Here - now really clean it," I muttered.

Thanks for stopping by this morning. Have a great day, everyone.