Saturday, January 2 2021

finger talk, spilling things, and battleship tactics

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Dear Journal,

Good evening, everyone. My stupid finger and I wish you a happy Saturday. If all of your digits are in tact, hold them extra tightly tonight. I miss running my hands under scalding hot water. I miss using all ten fingers to fold warm bread dough. I especially miss being able to hold forks and spoons in a way that didn't make me feel like a jazz drummer.

That analogy might not mean anything to most of you, so I came prepared with a visual. This is what I'm talking about.

2021 01 02 jazz drummer

I have to hold everything like this as to not irritate my stitches, and it kind of reminds me how jazz drummers hold one of the drumsticks in their hand. I never understood why some drummers do that. Does it give you a better angle at the snare, is it really more comfortable, or are they just afraid that nobody is going to ask them about jazz?

I complain, but things are definitely getting better. It's so nice to have the wrapping off, and I kind of enjoy staring at the stitches - if you couldn't tell they fascinate me. I like staring at them, trying to figure out where the begin and end. I like holding the skin up to the light. I like poking the long tied off ends of the stitches, feeling the tiny knots tug at my skin.

2021 01 02 finger

The day it happened, I left in such a hurry that I didn't even ask any questions about when the stitches come out. I found out later over My Chart that I need to make a doctor's appointment for it. I'll probably go through with it, but if I said I didn't google "home vertical suture removal" out of curiosity, I'd be lying.

Sip. Alrighty. Enough finger talk. In other news, I learned this week that I have a bad habit of spilling things around the dogs. A few days ago, I fumbled an entire container of trail mix while I was snacking. We hurried the dogs outside, and when I had finished sweeping, Marissa's "spot-check" found a whole mound of raisins and chocolate chips that I had missed. Last night, while helping myself to a chocolate bar out of the freezer, I lost a wedge of chocolate on the floor and barely got it before Ollie did. Marissa met eyes with me, half smiling, half glaring.

"What?" I laughed.

"Could you stop spilling things that are, you know, fatal to dogs?" she asked.

"I'm sorry," I said. "It's not cool, but it's unfortunate that we have so much chocolate and raisins around the house right now."

An hour later, I'd bobble a tupperware container of chicken stock out of the fridge. It cracked, leaking onto the floor. The dogs had their fill, but at least it wasn't chocolate or raisins this time. There's worse things they could be eating than chicken stock.

For lunch today we heated up some leftovers, and I made a quick salad out of some kale and dressing we had in our fridge. I picked the rest of the peanuts and raisins out of that same jug of trail mix that I spilled. Kale, raisins, and peanuts should have worked, but it still carried the faint aftertaste of M&M's.

After lunch, Miles and I grabbed some groceries from Hy-Vee. Marissa painted, and I booted up our retro Super Nintendo so I could keep hacking away at Zelda: Link to the Past. For being only the second time I've picked this game up, I'm coming around to it. There's a lot of nice music and interesting level design, but I keep getting hung up on the small details. I spent at least twenty minutes trying to beat the boss guarding the princess's prison cell. It took me at least ten minutes to figure out that the stone on the back wall of the throne room could be scooted to reveal a hidden passage way. And once you get to the point where your playing the game with the google search page open in your lap, the game loses a lot of its magic.

For dinner, we had pea soup - Grinch Soup as Rodney calls it. It's one of his favorites, and he had no time polishing it off in his timed thirty minute eating window. He earned himself some after dinner Rodney time, so we took out Battleship. Rodney was on Marissa's team. I was holding down my own board, hoping to get some redemption for getting badly thrashed on New Year's Eve.

Things weren't looking good at first. Marissa made quick work of four of my boats. Just my sole tugboat remained. I finally tracked down some of her boats, and after figuring out that she was keeping her ships along the outside, I too made quick work of her fleet. After a historic comeback, we were tied - my tugboat against hers.

I noticed something small about the way she was playing. When she called a coordinate, it felt like she was silently measuring the amount of time it took me to confirm if it was a hit or a miss. If it took me longer to confirm, than it must have been close. It would have been a good strategy if I didn't catch on. To counter her, I mentally picked a random spot on my board to pretend my final boat was, then accordingly added a few seconds to each verbal confirmation. In the meantime, I found her tugboat. Victory.

2021 01 02 battleship

A redemptive victory. Well done, tugboat. Way to hold your ground and fight it out. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Have a good night.