Wednesday, January 6 2021

secret sauce, running, and poop music

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Wednesday. The halfway point of the week can be kind of comforting you know? If you're having a good week and getting stuff done, the weekend feels within reach and it's easy to summon the energy to get to Friday. If you're having a bad week, there's still two and a half days to turn it around. If you're having a really bad week, Wednesday means it's almost over.

I'm having a good week. No complaints over here. I've got fresh coffee, I'm caught up on chores, and my schedule is pretty wide open today. On top of everything, in the next few minutes the house will be flooded with the aroma of fresh bread.

This January, I've got bread on my mind. Sometime over the holiday break, I got tired of my go-to bread recipe. It could just be the dry winter air, but the loaves aren't springing like they used to. Additionally, my trusty parchment paper method over time has left me feeling unsatisfied. Parchment paper is effective, but folding it into a rough three dimensional shape along the sides of the breadpan is not a ritual I take pleasure in. The parchment paper crinkles and rips, and leaves weird folds on the loaf that kind of resembles fish gills.

In hopes of getting a nice sharp crust again, I tried cutting the parchment paper into strips - one wide long strip through the length of the pan and a short one to cover the sides. The crust was better, but I had to break a sweat getting it out of the pan.

For this morning's loaf, I oiled the pan and gave it a nice dusting of corn meal. The blogs say that corn meal will ensure the loaf slips out. I guess we'll know if that's true (glances at clock) 38 minutes from now. I made it very clear to Marissa that this morning might be a bread fail.

"I like bread fails," said Marissa. "That just means we get to wale on a fresh loaf of bread all day without feeling guilty."

You got to love that attitude. With bread, thank God you can still eat your mistakes.

Sip. Tuesday was kind of a weird day. My Tuesday was in a sense the complete opposite of my Monday. Monday was filled with little tasks and focused meetings. Tuesday was roped off for one giant all company meeting that would last all day.

I watched the first session from my office upstairs. I had my notes open just in case I needed to take anything down, but very quickly it became clear that this was more general attitude and goal setting stuff. I relocated to the kitchen so I could watch while making chicken stock. I cranked the volume on my laptop so Marissa could listen in. Being a self-employed artist and her own boss, I could imagine that she's amused by the mannerisms of corporate executives.

"So one thing I've noticed about C-level people is that they re-use each other's lingo," I said to Marissa. "So far, I've counted three uses of the phrase secret sauce. Let's see how many more times that phrase is used."

We got up to five secret sauce's in total. Not the most egregious example I could think of, but it's a real phenomenon in corporate America, and I even do it myself. What can I say? I've got skin in the game, and when someone runs something up the flag pole, I salute it. That's how I establish my beach head. Are we in alignment yet? I guess we'll have to circle back, put a pin in it, and kick the tires on it when we're par for the course. That's my secret sauce.

In honor of the kick-off, my company let me expense my lunch. I treated the family to ramen from one of our favorite restaurants on the square. It was a treat.

After finishing out the work day, I went for another run. The good news is that I ran a respectable ten minute mile, but the bad news is that I only finished six minutes of it.

The kitchen door snapped shut behind me. My tired lungs heaved as I kicked my running shoes to the side.

"How did it go?" said Marissa.

"I start off way too fast," I huffed.

"Yeah, do you just get excited?" she said. I nodded.

Slow progress on the running front, but that's OK. I'm re introducing running back into my life just for the sake of running. I'm barely paying attention to how far and how long - the point is that it just gets my heart pumping again.

And after this Friday, my gimp stitched up hand will be fully restored. Push-ups and pull-ups will be back on the menu. I shudder thinking of the penance I will soon pay for my weeks of reckless eggnog binging, but getting in shape just makes it that much more fun to binge on eggnog next Christmas.

After dinner, we headed upstairs for a Zoom session with my family. Rodney took center stage in front of the webcam to give the family an exciting poop update. "I poop in the potty all by myself," he rang. "It's not so scary."

The floor was opened for questions. "Where does the poop go?" asked my mom.

"It goes to the poop party," replied Rodney.

"Is there music at the poop party?" asked Sarah.

"Yes," said Rodney confidently.

"It's poop music," we said nearly in unison.

We were sidetracked unpacking the meaning of poop music. Does this mean there are also poop instruments, poop musicians, and poop DJ's? For some reason the first thing that came to my mind hearing the phrase poop music was Yummy by Justin Bieber. If poop parties are real, I have a feeling they're listening to a lot of Justin Bieber.

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