Wednesday, August 12 2020

the worst hose, too much garlic, and the roller coaster



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Wednesday. This morning felt a little unnatural and chaotic, beginning with me accidentally falling asleep for an extra hour. After sleepily jabbing at my phone for a few minutes, Marissa politely solicited some tech support.

“I got a weird email from mailer daemon,” she said, tossing her phone onto the bed. “It says the original email was sent by an address I don’t recognize?”

After resetting Marissa’s password, I returned a moment later with a cup of coffee.

“Sorry to wake you up with IT needs,” she said.

“It’s OK,” I laughed, imbibing the first sip of coffee. “I think somebody was trying to spoof your email and it got caught by gmail. Nothing to be worried about. And it wouldn’t have taken so long to figure out your password if I’d have gotten my lazy ass out of bed when I was supposed to.”

Sip. We had a great day yesterday. In the morning, Marissa headed outside to tackle a project that involved replacing our old messed up garden hose. Rodney and I accompanied her, filling the time between fetching tools for her with sports and super hero role play in the front yard.

“This is just the worst hose ever,” said Marissa, slinging the heap of disheveled rubber coil onto the ground. “Did you know this was the hose that came with our house?”

It’s a remarkably terrible hose. Two old, small hoses fused together with a bulky plastic valve that somehow freely rotates on both ends while also being eternally rusted together. Three pin sized leaks spray water in all directions. The nozzle of the hose is also terrible in its own right. It’s impossible to completely shut off. Even when the lever is free, there is a steady trickle of water.

“I thought we’d be able to salvage some of this, but it’s not coming apart anywhere,” said Marissa, vice grip in hand. “Can we just chuck it?”

“Don’t have to say that twice,” I said. And with great pleasure, Rodney and I heaved the entire ass-brained convoluted system into our garbage can.

After some time to wind down, we took a family trip to pick up groceries. Coming home from Woodman’s and unpacking the groceries, it became clear that I made a few clerical errors.

“Oh my gosh,” gasped Marissa. “Why did you get so much garlic?”

“Well, I got twice the amount that I normally order because…” My voice trailed off, seeing the heavy plastic bag filled with garlic heads. “Oh,” I laughed. “That is a lot.”

I took out my phone to find the receipt in my email. “Yep - my bad. I got an entire pound, but it was only two dollars.”

We also went a little overboard on jalapenos and habanero peppers. It appears I’m still getting the hang of shopping at Woodman’s.

too much garlic

All stocked up for when the vampires come.

For dinner, Marissa made us a chicken breast and a Tex-mex salad with a side of Mexican corn. And for dessert, we had brownies and ice cream.

“I’ll clean up. Why don’t you take Rodney downstairs so you guys can start on the roller coaster,” said Marissa after we had finished eating.

Earlier that day, me and Rodney’s k’nex roller coaster arrived in the mail. A single tattered box with nearly 1000 individual pieces.

Rodney joined me on the floor in the corner of Marissa’s basement studio. “So we’re just going to be organizing the pieces dude,” I said. “That will help us build it more quickly, and plus this thing is from ebay, so it might be missing pieces.”

Rodney surprised me. I didn’t think he would find any fulfillment in the tedium of separating hundreds of rods and connectors into color coded bags, but he picked up on things quickly.

“Dada, you get the blue ones,” he said, handing me a bag. “I’ll get all the white circles.” We played music and cracked jokes - we had so much fun organizing the build site that I lost track of time, and accidentally gave him an extra half hour past his bedtime.

“I was surprised,” I said to Marissa after putting him to bed. “When we built the crane he had no interest in putting it together.”

“Maybe it wasn’t what he was expecting,” said Marissa. “He was probably expecting a fully assembled crane to be inside the box. I think he now understands that building it is the fun part.”

“And he’s very particular,” I added. “We put all the bags back in the box, and one by one I watched him take the bags out, roll them up, and put them back.”

Marissa nodded. “He does that to my art stuff too. When he hangs out down here, he likes to organize the felt in our craft supplies.”

“And did you know that just now I caught him rinsing off his toothpaste?” I said. “He was rinsing the cap under water, meticulously scraping the caked pieces off the outside. And then he said nice and clean.”

“He’s your son. I think he likes it when things are tidy.”

After Rodney was in bed, I finished organizing the pieces, then took some time to skim through the included manual. Back when I first put this kit together when I was little, I would have never taken the time to actually read any of it, but last night I was struck with how detailed and thoughtful it was.

“Look at this,” I said to Marissa. “There is a troubleshooting guide if your roller coaster doesn’t work.” I read aloud from the manual.

“If you have any trouble or further questions, call us at 1-800-KNEX-KIDS to talk to one of our construction specialists.”

“Awww, that’s sweet,” said Marissa.

“Helping a random kid troubleshoot their giant k’nex roller coaster over the phone,” I said. “Can you imagine what that job was like?”

Thanks for stopping by today. If you’ll excuse me, I was due at the job site a half hour ago. We have a roller coaster to build.