Sunday, November 15 2020

snacks, the virtual gallery, and a rodney time strikeout

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Dear Journal,

Take a look at this spread.

2020 11 15 snacks

Two pieces of buttered bread baked only a few hours before. Some soft European cheese I got from a coworker for a bread trade. Two dark chocolate rocky road bars fresh out of the freezer. And goldfish crackers garnished with a small handful of fruit loops. This was my curation to go with our new favorite regular pinot. Thank God for snacks.

And thank God for the weekend. How has your weekend been? Feeling ready to start everything over again on Monday? It's been an odd past couple of days for us. We went into this weekend with very different expectations for what this online art gallery would be like. Marissa stayed up until three in the morning re-uploading nearly her entire online store onto this new website for the event. She gutted her studio, thinking she would be swamped all weekend with Zoom calls. She dug out her best outfit from the back of her closet, and on Friday afternoon our whole family was all hands on deck.

Nobody came to her zoom room. And I'm not surprised - it took the two of us nearly an hour troubleshooting the website, trying to wire up her personal zoom room to a mysterious button on her profile that was practically impossible to find. With nearly three hours remaining in her office hour window, Marissa gave up and fell asleep on the couch, still wearing her nicest outfit. She was disappointed, but she still had me, her loving husband, to tease her about it. At 4:45 PM, I knelt by the couch to gently shake her.

"Hey honey," I whispered gently. "You've still got fifteen minutes left in your gallery. I know you're really swamped dealing with people right now, but you can sign off in a few minutes and take a nap if you want." Marissa shook her head and went back to sleep.

Not to say that the whole effort was a bust. The remote meet and greet thing didn't catch on, but she still sold some paintings. And with the studio cleaned, she cranked out a quick Instagram live session earlier this evening. Baby Miles and I listened in from upstairs in the dining over a bowl of banana baby mash.

Sip. What else is going on. Ah, I had a quick note on yesterday's entry, "stories about playing drums". When retelling the story of the homeless guy who starting improvising a song in the middle of our small worship service, I have to admit that I fudged some of the details for the sake of prose. My dad reminded me of what he actually sang.

"I'm gonna wear a robe on that day... repeated 36 times or so," said my dad. "We felt super awkward."

I appreciate the detail. I didn't feel like I had adequately captured how awkward it was. If he had sung a song with a clear verse and chorus, we at least would have been assured that the song had to have an ending. But the same line over and over? Who knows how long he would have kept singing. For five minutes? Thirty minutes? Rocking back and forth, singing I'm gonna wear a robe on that day over and over to a dumbfounded audience.

And speaking of the Saturday stories, I hope you don't mind that I scaled back on the word count. When I first had the idea to use Saturday's journal to tell stories from my past, my enthusiasm burned bright. I had ambitions to cover these stories and topics exhaustively and passionately. My enthusiasm dwindled, and I was reminded that I'm only on the hook for 1000 words a day. If I really intend to do this every day for the rest of my life, I had better save some stories and pace myself.

Marissa and I stood out on the deck watching the dogs run out into the yard. We shared more stories about playing in bands and participating in musical extracurriculars. Don't worry - I have more stories about playing drums, and I'll undoubtedly have to circle back one of these Saturdays.

In other news, the institution of Rodney Time continues to make a splash in our home life. For the first time last night, Rodney struck out. The timer, purring in the center of the dining room table, rang aloud. Rodney nervously glanced at his plate. He had finished his single slice of cheese pizza, but barely put a dent in his salad. I craned my head across the table.

"Sorry dude," I said somberly. "You barely touched your salad."

Rodney kicked his feet in his booster seat. "Does that mean..." his lip quivered. "Does that mean I no get Rodney Time?" A knot formed in Rodney's throat as he blinked away tears.

"I'm sorry dude," I said. "We like Rodney time too. But you have to learn to finish your dinner on time."

Rodney slowly slid his last cherry tomato into his mouth, swirling the rest of the wet lettuce at the end of his fork. He finished his bowl and sauntered upstairs. As soon as he left the room, Marissa and I exchanged mournful looks.

"That was tough," I said.

"Tough, but good," answered Marissa.

The ordeal was on his mind while we were talking to Pappa Wilke over Zoom. Out of turn, Rodney leaned into the camera to share what was on his mind.

"Pappa Wilke, I didn't get Rodney Time tonight, it kinda makes me sad," said Rodney. We brought Pappa up to speed, explaining Rodney's slow eating problem as well as the Rodney Time remedy we came up with.

"I always eat my food," said Pappa Wilke. "I clean my plate so I can be healthy and strong."

"Yeah?" said Rodney with a goofy smile. "Do you get Pappa Wilke Time?"

I put Rodney to bed, reminding him that he had another shot the next day at the dinner table. "It's OK dude," I said, offering parting words while shutting his bedroom light off. "Do better tomorrow, do it for Rodney Time."

Tonight, Rodney channeled his frustration into cleaning his bowl. He had the last wedge of his cabbage calzone stuffed into his cheek, and there were four minutes to spare. We'd spend the first five minutes of Rodney time just cheering, dancing, and parading around the living room. Then we played hide and seek.

It was a good time. If you ask me, Rodney Time is turning into something the whole family looks forward to.

Thanks for stopping by tonight. Have a great day, everyone.