Sunday, September 6 2020

time management, icecream drama, and botched fireworks



banners/2020 09 06

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! How is your Sunday going so far? After an action packed Saturday that led to everyone getting to bed a little later than usual, we slept in and we're taking things slow today. Cereal bars. Coffee. Minimal cleaning - that kind of morning.

I was just catching up on Facebook comments from yesterdays posts. One of the best parts of these longer Saturday posts is when old friends come out of the wood work to join in on the reminiscing. I think if I were to mention all the fun times I had working at Starbucks, we would have a never ending journal entry situation on our hands. I would probably still be writing.

And speaking of which, as much as I love these mega long Saturday entry posts, they pose a serious time management problem. Yesterday from the time I woke up, I spent just about the rest of the morning and early afternoon writing. I leaned on Marissa to make watch Miles, entertain Rodney, and even make lunch. She rightfully teased me for the oversight when I was all through.

"So I forget," I said smirking, finally joining my family outside. "Am I supposed to like, spend time with you guys or something?"

"Who is that?" joked Marissa. "Oh wait, I remember - I think that's daddy. We haven't seen you in a while."

"This morning won't happen again," I said more sincerely. "I like doing special entries on Saturday, but I'm going to figure out a better time to do them."

"It's OK - I figured," she said. "And the boys were good - Charles Mingus is just sleeping in his crib, and jobsite Rodney has been helping me work on the raised garden."

We decided to take the clan out for a long walk through the neighborhood. Miles led the caravan in the front in his strolled, followed by the dogs, followed by Rodney in his green wagon bringing up the rear. We're kind of a large family now, and we take up much of the sidewalk. Marissa and I fondly remember a time when we could actually stride side-by-side on a walk and we only had one dog to worry about. Now we practically take up the entire sidewalk, and we stretch over two driveways.

"We're the obnoxiously adorable caravan," says Marissa.

We were en route to visit our favorite ice cream shop. Since last summer, following some ridiculous neighborhood ice cream shop drama, the shop was forced to move. We tried to follow the action through Facebook and reddit threads. From what we could tell, it was a petty stand-off between the shop owner and the building manager. The manager refused to renew the lease because he wanted to sell the building to a new ice cream distributor. The shop owner refused to leave. The drama culminated one weekend when the cops were called; the building manager had chained the doors shut, and the employees couldn't open the store.

The new icecream distributor moved in, and the original was displaced. They bought a new location about 100 feet away. But the truly ridiculous part of this story is that they both sell the same Schoep's icecream.

And I guess what underscores all of this is how easy we had it last summer. I'd love to go back to a time where the most controversial thing we had to worry about was the famous Atwood Schoep's icecream wars of 2019.

So yesterday, we made our way to the new Schoep's icecream shop. They have a cozy little enclave tucked between their new building and the bike path. We tied the dogs to our metal table and feasted on icecream.

2020 09 06/icecream

Rodney climbs into his seat to enjoy his multi-colored Superman flavored ice cream.

When it was time to leave, I popped up from my chair and tossed my gooey icecream cup into the metal garbage can. I heard the plastic cup and spoon hit the metal can. An employee, who was in the middle of changing out the liner, noticed. Once I realized what I had done, my heart sank.

"Oh no, I am so sorry," I said.

"It's fine - it's fine," she said, grabbing some cleaning supplies.

"Seriously," I said, trying to give a more earnest apology. "I think this is the worst thing you can do to another person, and I'm so sorry."

"No, don't worry about it sir," said the employee. "We got it, it's no big deal."

There must have been melted oreo ice cream all over that hot metal garbage can. As we left, I counted five yellow jackets in the vicinity. I'm glad I had a chance to apologize, but it was a difficult transgression to shake off.

To the Schoep's ice cream girl, I am sorry. Allow me to borrow from the great philosopher Taylor Swift and say, the worst thing I ever did was what I did to you.

Back at home, we put Rodney down for a nap, and I prepared a pizza. That evening, we had tickets to a fireworks show. After letting the pizza cool, I packed the cooler with silverware and drinks, and Marissa picked up some other snacks with a quick Target run. Finally, at 8:30 when we'd normally be putting Rodney to bed, we all jumped in the car and headed to the show.

The parking attendants guided us to a spot in front of yellow caution tape. In front of our car in the dark parking, we could see some guys setting up equipment around a truck.

"Oh man," said Marissa giggling. "I think they're shooting them off right there. We have a front row seat."

2020 09 06/front row seat

Our front row view of the action

Rodney climbed into the front seat with us. Under the illumination of booming fireworks, we ate pizza and snacks. Rodney felt iffy about the whole thing.

2020 09 06/sunroof

Pizza and snacks under the rockets red glare

"They're a little bit too noisy," he said, holding his years. "They make me kind of scared. I think we should go now - we should get going."

Marissa stepped in to ease his worries. "There's nothing to be scared of, Rodney. Look, aren't they beautiful?"

"And they're perfectly safe, dude," I said. "These guys know what they're doing."

"Look Rod," said Marissa. "They're about to do the grand finale."

With anticipation, we watch from our car as they dragged out a final barrel of fireworks. There was some movement, and then all of the sudden, the barrel exploded into a giant fireball. The orange and yellow flames licked into the sky, casting an eerie glow on the parking lot. A plume of dark, ashy smoke rose up.

"I... don't think that was intentional," chuckled Marissa. "What just happened?"

"I think they botched it," I said. "Look the fire department is going in."

2020 09 06/aftermath

Aftermath of the unintentional explosion.

So the show had a different kind of grand finale. And after trying to ease Rodney's worries, the timing couldn't have been worse. Still a good show, though.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful day today.