Thursday, August 13 2020

the hole, rage monster, and garlic eating machines

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday, and happy thirteenth of August. Even though Marissa and I had kind of a late night last night, I'm still hanging in there with the sleep schedule readjustment period. I think next week, I'll make the final leap from 7:00 AM to 6:30 AM, and with that the transformation back into a worker bee will be complete.

I'm feeling tired today, but sleepily fumbling around my house this morning to make coffee and do the usual routine, I'm feeling satisfied with how much work we accomplished yesterday. Marissa and Rodney finished putting together the new hose. I wiped down the kitchen, including the stove and microwave, and finally broke down the mountain of cardboard boxes spilling over into our deck. Marissa and I worked before and after dinner, finally calling it a night at 11:30 PM. On the way back from grabbing a beer, I stopped at the computer to clear all my Wednesday chores on our virtual chore wheel. It's a good feeling.

The most brutal thing we took on yesterday was cleaning the basement drain. Dead center in our basement floor is an old drain, caked with rust and lime. A mud colored grate just barely covers an evil looking pool of murky water that presumably leads straight to hell. This hole in our basement floor has come to aptly represent all the struggles of living in an old house. The dirty brown hole in the floor probably lends itself to a number of gross metaphors, but - c'mon - some of us are still trying to enjoy our coffee.

the hole

If they ever make another "The Ring", we have the perfect location for them.

We bought a new drain cover, but before it could replace the old one, we had to scrape the rust free. Marissa demonstrated a few swipes, then set me up with the scraper. I squatted over the hole, trying to escape from the sound of scraping rust and the smell of dank still water with my wandering thoughts. Just get it done.

"You look like Mike Rowe, from Dirty Jobs," laughed Marissa. I stopped scraping momentarily to perform my best on the spot Mike Rowe impersonation.

"Staring into that dirty brown hole, scraping it on my hands and knees, I thought to myself, 'This is a dirty job!'," I said enthusiastically.

After scraping, Marissa used applied CLR using a clever paper towel trick. "If you line it with wet paper towels, that keeps the CLR from running down the drain," said Marissa. "You get a better soak that way." I nodded attentively, still in Dirty Jobs mode.

Sip. In other news, Rodney and I may have had our first official argument yesterday. Rodney had played outside in the hose all morning (to test it, of course), and he was recouping with some TV time. I crossed between him and the TV. Rodney bobbed his head around me like he was annoyed, and as soon as I passed, he resumed his deep zone out into YouTube. On a teasing impulse, I scooped up a dog toy and flipped it at him. The toy bounced off his face, shaking him up.

Rodney clenched his fist. "No! Don't do that. NEVER do that," he said, banging his hand against the side of the couch. My jaw dropped.

"HEY," I said sharply. "That was mean, I'm sorry, but you can't scold me like that. No need to turn into a rage monster, dude." The "rage monster" was a comically angry character from the Dude Perfect videos we watch. I knew the reference would land with Rodney.

I returned to the kitchen to start on dinner. A moment later, Rodney sheepishly entered. His eyes were misty.

"Dada," he said. "I'm so sorry bein' a rage monster." My heart felt like it was about to crumple as I shut off the sink to console him.

"Oh dude, I'm it's OK. I'm sorry I was teasing you, it was mean to throw a dog toy at you while you were just trying to watch TV. We're good, dude."

Rodney has a soft conscience. He would apologize to me about three more times before dinner was ready, and each time I would console him. "We're all good, dude, you already said sorry," I re iterated as we exchanged fist bumps.

"So for dinner, we're doing kind of a social experiment," I said setting the table. "Tonight, we're going to see how much garlic this family will eat at one time."

Feeling the need to use up the pound of garlic I accidentally bought, we used two whole heads for diner. One head was boiled and mixed with the mashed potatoes - that was a no brainer. The other half was split between the French cabbage salad and the pork pan sauce.

Clean plates - no complaints. I ate so much garlic, I think I actually got a little buzz from it.

"I'm proud of this family," I said. "You guys are garlic eating machines."

"We'll be ready for when the vampires come," said Marissa.

After dinner, Rodney and I joined Marissa in the art studio to put some more time into our roller coaster. Rodney left me to deal with the constructed while he bounced between bothering Marissa, bothering Miles, and bothering me.

"Ope, I think it's time for bed," said Marissa loudly. I put Rodney to bed, rejoining her afterwards.

"I don't think you guys can build this down here," said Marissa tiredly. "Rodney just touches too many things."

I nodded. "It's hard building k'nex with him too," I said tiredly with a smile. "As if it's not hard enough to make sure you're getting all the pieces right, you have to also deal with him climbing on your back and moving pieces around. It's k'nex on hard mode."

We moved the roller coaster upstairs to the playroom. "We can move this play table - Rodney doesn't use that. Then we can put the coaster diaganolly," said Marissa thinking aloud.

Rodney and I still made good progress. We build the slope and the two cranks on which the chain will eventually carry the cart.

Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you have a wonderful day.