Wednesday, December 16 2020

the joy of showering, tying ribbons, and gloria's sandwich



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Wednesday. We have the best of both worlds this morning - there isn't a cloud in the sky and there's still a little bit of snow on the ground. The view out our dining room window this morning looks like a winter postcard. I'm rooting for the snow on the ground. It just needs to stick around for exactly one week, and that will mark the first white Christmas I've seen in a really long time.

As always, climbing out of the shower this morning took just about every ounce of will power I had. While sipping coffee, staring at my phone clock through the foggy shower door, I think I decided that if I had the power to freeze time I would take an hour long shower every morning. I'd bring the whole coffee pot with me and maybe even a comfortable chair. Heck, I could even set up my laptop and watch a movie or two. Nothing else about my day would change - except for my shower.

I'm starting to sound like Kramer, aren't I? I'm remembering the silly Seinfeld arc where Kramer decides that he is the happiest when he is in the shower and decides he never wants to leave. After all these years, that fantasy is still so relatable. Depending on how you look at it, the rest of the day is pretty much down hill when you shut off that relaxing hot water.

So here we are. I may not be standing under a hot water faucet with a hot cup of coffee on the shower ledge, but at least I'm sitting in a comfortable chair with a cup of coffee. We can call this the second most comfortable place of the day.

Sip. I don't make it a habit of checking old journal entries, but today I was interesting in what we were up to last year. This year has been such a blur, anything that happened in 2019 might as well have been in another lifetime. Reading my update from December 16, 2019 felt like I was reading the thoughts and events of a totally different person's life. The week before Christmas, Marissa and I were running around getting gifts, baking treats, and preparing to drive to see family. I called the week before Christmas gauntlet week.

This week is kind of a gauntlet week too. I have a few work days next week as well, but it will just be me and the two interns holding it down until Tuesday. Other IT nerds might relate to these kind of work weeks being the best for cleaning up your configs, reading manuals, or finally tackling your personal "this could be a good script" backlog.

Yesterday, it felt like Marissa was at the dining room table for most of the day. Not only did she help me attach the labels to all the mixtape CD's, but she also affixed each CD case with a little red bow. By the time I passed her again an hour later to refill on coffee, she was already re-tying them all.

"What is this?" I laughed. "You're doing them all again?"

"I decided that I want the bow to go around the CD and our Christmas card," laughed Marissa. "So I have to re-tie them all."

"Why do you do this to yourself?" I laughed.

"It's just classic me, isn't it?" she laughed. "And the weird thing is I don't even mind it. I just love doing this kind of stuff."

Have you ever watched somebody take genuine pleasure in a task that would make you bore out your eye balls? It's just amazing how differently we can be wired. Cutting paper, tying ribbons, printing labels, wrapping gifts - Marissa creates this kind of work for herself the same way I can keep myself perpetually busy with the computers in the house.

We pushed the gift wrapping station aside so we could eat lunch. I hastily threw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Rodney, and for Marissa and I, I surprised her with a new sandwich. I made Gloria's Sandwich by Jacques Pepin.

A toasted bagel rubbed with a garlic clove. A sliced onion and tomato hiding a secret pair of anchovy filets. By the time I had topped the bagel with mozzarella and stuck it under the broiler, she knew we were going to be eating something different. We both bit into our sandwiches in unison and thoughtfully chewed.

"I can appreciate all the flavors," said Marissa. "But it's just a little salty."

I nodded along. "It's just a little too focused on the anchovy," I said. "The cheese masks some of the fishy-ness, but I think liking anchovies is still a requirement."

I knew that sandwich could have gone two ways. Either we would unofficially dub the creation Rissa's sandwich and end of making it every day, or it would make for a fun one time experiment in the middle of the week.

In other news, Rodney was in kind of a bad mood yesterday. The poor guy is still having poop issues. He's at the point where we can coax it out of him on the toilet, but it's kind of a big ordeal and it's followed by a big accident later in the day. I could tell he was feeling frustrated when he invited himself into the kitchen while I was making dinner. He set his toy computer on my wet cutting board and began talking me through how it works.

"That's nice dude, but can you play with that in the living room?" I said while hurrying around him.

"How about I put my 'puter here, and then I help?" said Rod. He folded his laptop up and set it aside. I smiled, handing him a butter knife.

"How about you slice up some potatoes for me," I said.

While eating, Marissa and I searched for jagged little pieces of carrot and potato in our stew. We emphasized that those pieces tasted especially good.

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