Saturday, August 1 2020

windtalkers, french toast, ducks, and caterpillars



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Dear Journal,

Happy Saturday, everyone. Whether you are spending your day conquering your yard, cleaning up celebrations leftover from Friday night, or just treating the day like a generous extension of Friday night, I hope you're feeling good. Our family is taking things slow. Over coffee, Marissa and I floated around some goals for the weekend before moving the situation over to the living room couch for a mid day Finding Nemo showing.

"Do you think Finding Nemo will be too scary for Rodney?" asked Marissa.

"Nah, he'll be fine," I said dismissively. "And if he doesn't like it, you can just put on Windtalkers instead." Marissa chortled, and took another sip of coffee.

Sometime between 1-2 AM last night, we finished Windtalkers. We still haven't reached a consensus on whether or not it was worth our time.

"I'm going to go with a B minus," I declared. "The dialog is a little slapped toghether, but at least the music is good."

"No no no," protested Marissa. "You realize a C is average, right? Do you really think it was better than average?"

"Ah good point," I rescinded. "OK, we'll go with a C. It was an average movie."

Windtalkers was a mixed bag of good and bad film making decisions. James Horner did a wonderful job with the score. There were plenty of scenes where the background music carried the story more effectively than the dialog. But in between the beautiful swelling strings and horns, the movie makes it hard to relax.

"They really abuse the old war movie cliche where a nice scene is abruptly interrupted by action," I laughed. "In good movies, it only happens like two or three times. But there were at least fifteen scenes where someone explodes while joking around or showing off pictures of their family."

"I think you nailed it," said Marissa. "I kind of came to expect it whenever something nice was happening. It's a brutal movie."

To make up for the late night, we slept in today. I made a flight of French Toast for breakfast, finally remembering to take a better picture for my cookbook. For too long has my favorite breakfast recipe been unjustly represented by a grainy, zoomed-in picture of some charred store bought baguette slices. The shot I got today is much truer to form - playing card sized wedges of caramelized sourdough bread dusted with cinnamon sugar. Like a delicious piece of milk and egg logged driftwood pulled out of a marsh of hot brown butter.

french toast

French Toast: The physical manifestation of Saturday morning

Sourdough makes the best french toast, by the way. I think the key is that sourdough bread doesn't really get stale. It just gets chewier. And that checks out - I read that because sourdough is made from naturally occurring community of bacteria and yeast, it lasts much longer.

Sip. We had a great day yesterday. As the morning hours slipped away, we gave up on our grand plans to take the family on a walk to the biergarten. Taking two children, three lawn chairs, a cooler, a diaper bag, toys, and masks on a thirty minute walk outside suddenly seemed like a ludicrous idea. Marissa also talked us into ordering a pizza for dinner instead.

We hung out at the biergarten with Alex and Cassie. While commiserating over the long week, we entertained Rodney by sending him on garbage runs to the trash can, and Alex played a careful round of frisbee with him in the grass.

I took Rodney over to the water to feed the ducks. But sadly, not even the leftover cheesy breadcrumbs from the stuffed tomatoes we brought were enough to entice the single wading duck over to the shore.

"Don't worry, dude," I said, "I talked to that duck, and he said he would pick up all the crumbs later."

"Yeah. Good. Later," nodded Rodney, demonstrating an unshakeable belief that his Father can talk to ducks.

talking to ducks

The duck also said 'thank you' and 'listen to your father'

As we were packing up, Rodney discovered a giant green caterpillar wriggling around on our picnic blanket.

lunar moth caterpillar

"It's a lunar moth," said Marissa this morning. "I literally found it online by just searching for giant green caterpillar."

"The Internet is wonderful, isn't it?" I laughed.

Before leaving, I reluctantly finished Marissa's beer for her. And after the heavy craft brew hit my stomach, it was only a matter of time before it sent me spiraling into a early evening nap. Just before the sleepy timebomb went off, I managed to start a movie for us while we waited for the pizza to be delivered.

I like how in these pictures of Miles, you can see me completely conked out with my head wedged uncomfortably between the arm rest and back of the couch.

miles with me sleeping

Smiling baby, and a pulled muscle in progress.

We feasted on pizza and let Rodney finish Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. During the scene where they time travel to the future and meet the society built on their excellent music, I tried to jog Rodney's memory.

"Dude, when you were two years old, you used to stand in front of the TV during this scene and pretend to strum a guitar," I said, lifting my arm slowly in front of me. Rodney didn't remember, but he joined me in the Bill and Ted's salute anyway.

After putting Rodney to bed, Marissa and I had a hobby night. After three hours of beer and buttered sourdough fueled coding, I lifting my hands in victory.

"Did you figure something out?" asked Marissa from the table.

"Yep," I said. "Wasn't sure if something would be possible, but it's like I finally saw light in the tunnel."

"Good job, Dada," she said.

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you have a great Saturday.