Monday, January 4 2021

real new year's, pizza hoarder, and my chump of the week



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Dear Journal,

Good morning! Happy Monday. It's good to be back writing in the mornings - the return to true form fits today's theme for me. Being the first Monday of 2021, this is kind of like the real new year's day for me. This morning is early sunlight, fresh coffee in a clean carafe, and a much needed shower.

I'm writing on my laptop this morning. I'm trying out a new writing spot. We have a long cushy bench by our living room window next to Rodney's play corner. This is where the dogs normally patrol the window, keeping us safe from unpredictable dangers like squirrels and people. This morning it's auditioning as my new writing spot.

It's bitter sweet saying goodbye to the lazy Holiday season routine. I'll look back fondly on staying up until 2 AM, sleeping in until 9, and eating like a giant baby with money. That time of life is over now, and we're back in full force. I was up this morning at 6:30 AM sharp. I've started counting calories again. Looking ahead at this busy work day, I'm excited to try out some new tactics for staying focused and getting work done.

In general, I'm feeling my focus shift to the future. I think we have lots of things to get us excited. Next week, the Bears have a grudge playoff game against the Saints airing on Nickelodeon (an appropriately odd final chapter to a bizarre season). A short week later, the Blackhawks start playing again. Before we know it, the weather will start to get warm again, and maybe even some vaccines will start to appear and we'll be able to get a head start on the greatest summer of the decade.

Sip. We had a great day yesterday. After attending YouTube church, we held our position in the living room. There was a Boston Dynamics video on YouTube's homepage, so on an impulse we clicked it. That led us down into a YouTube rabbit hole, following Boston Dynamics bloopers to robot fails to just general fail videos.

Rodney was just loving it. He's at the golden age where there are no shortage of silly YouTube videos for us to bond over. Three of us heartily laughed on the couch over our common denominators of comedy - botched trampoline stunts, animals turning on TV news reporters, and husky guys breaking diving boards.

"Mama, watch this fail," said Rodney getting up to his feet. He awkwardly leapt onto the floor into the dog bed in front of the couch while Marissa and I provided the foley effects from the couch. Bonk. Hiss. Waka waka.

I hope these fail videos become a thing he really gets into. Not only are they easy to find, but some of them are two hours long. A treasure trove of untapped silliness that's pretty much as good as getting a baby sitter.

As much as we would have liked to lay on the couch all day and watch epic fails, we had things to do. We had lunch to make and we had a Bears game to watch. I put the game on, and we got into position to stress clean the entire house.

Yesterday during the game was pretty much the first time I've touched any chores since after Thanksgiving. I wiped down the kitchen, cleaned out the fridge, and washed away the dried soup and breadcrumbs off my stove. But the cleaning wasn't enough good juju. Greenbay would go onto stomp the Bears, and in hindsight the small superstitious omens were obvious. Marissa couldn't find her lucky Bears headband. A block of cheddar I was going to use in our pizza was molded over. Minutes into the second half, our shelf mounted on the wall broke off its screw and we nearly lost all of our nice plate ware. Shambles. Bad juju was everywhere.

After shutting off the game, we gathered around the table for dinner. The extra cheese pizza I made for Rodney came out first. While it was still cooling on the cutting board, Rodney began to greedily stack the square wedges high on his plate. I didn't say anything. As a parent, it's too much fun to discover the homemade foods that kids love, I didn't want to interrupt. Marissa joined us at the table, and seeing Rodney's plate she laughed.

"What's going on here," she asked, leaning in. "Is there enough pizza for us?"

Rodney the pizza hoarder handed us each a single slice from his plate.

2021 01 04 pizza hoarder

"Are you really going to eat all that, Rodney?" I asked. Rodney's grin turned into an earnest smile as he nodded.

"Alright," I laughed. "Well our pizza is about to come out of the oven, the cheese was mostly supposed to be for him anyway."

Rodney finished his whole plate, but it wasn't as impressive as it sounds. He set his crust aside for the "daddy monster", and he even took the time to meticulously pick off the little ribbons of basil leaves I mixed with the sauce.

"Oh just eat the basil," I chided him. "It doesn't taste like anything, it's just pretty much there for decoration."

I'll close this entry with a new writing segment I'd like to introduce. Starting in 2021, a part of Monday entries will be set aside to discuss my own personally designated chump of the week.

Not long ago, Marissa directed my attention to our neighborhood's Facebook page. There was a house on our block that built a giant snowman in their frontyard the day after it had snowed. This angered someone to the point where they left a passive aggressive sign calling them out for building a snowman before they shoveled their sidewalk, and the whole thing resulted in a bombshell Facebook fight with sprawling threads of toxic comments.

Folks, this is clear chump behavior. Is it annoying when people don't shovel their sidewalk? Yes, but that is not in the same league of annoying as putting a sign on somebody's snowman. Now we've got angry East side hipsters expounding municipal snow law and threatening to report each other for not shoveling.

Neighbor who posted the inflammatory sign on what was probably a child's snowman: you're my chump of the week.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great week everyone.