Saturday, January 16 2021

craft beer, cinnamon rolls, and power putty


Dear Journal,

Happy Saturday, friends. I've done as little as possible today, and I hope you can say the same. As the temperature hovers just above freezing point, the snow outside is beginning to melt - but not in a spring is right around the corner kind of way. In the style of the midwest, it's more of a sure, it's melting now but who knows, it might snow later too kind of way. After Marissa returned from a jog, she told me that the lake was covered in an evening coating of slush and her socks were soaked threw. I shuddered in horror from my warm bed and returned to my afternoon nap.

Sip. That was a beer. Tonight I'm drinking Madison's own Hopalicious. Marissa and I just remembered we lived in a beer town, and on the way out the door to pick up some burgers from the far east side of town, we grabbed one of our growlers from the top shelf of our liquor cabinent. Marissa had them fill it up from the tap at the bar. This beer is crispy, bitter, and satisfying. It reminds me Marissa and I used to leave Rodney home with a baby sitter just to hide out at the bar across the street from our house.

"Remember we used to sit at the bar at Applebee's?" laughed Marissa, watching the restaurant whizz past the car window. We didn't sit there because it was a good bar. It was because it didn't take very much customer traffic to test the brittle and dysfunctional communication between the hapless waiters and the lone bartender. Watching tensions rise and all the drama unfold among the Applebee's staff was kind of like our own private reality TV show.

I've missed tap beer. I'm going to remember this beer next time I'm tempted to utter something as ridiculous as "Yeah, I'm not so into craft beer anymore."

Sip. At last, all the kids are in bed. Miles was doing so much shrieking that he didn't even stay up through one turn of the his lullaby mobile. Rodney pretended to read books to his dinosaurs in the dark, but his voice trailed off about ten minutes ago.

Last night was our party night. Marissa and I broke into a bottle of wine and snacked on reheated pizza and icecream. We played two games of cribbage. Tonight is more of a work night. Once I finish writing, I have to sort out the growing pile of spare computer parts in my closet. Marissa also has to do some writing for her website and for her next Awakening series.

"I don't know how you get joy from writing," said Marissa. "I've been putting this off all day, I just can't start."

Marissa is wrong. The moment before you start writing is the worst part. You'd have to be some kind of sicko to get joy from that. I get that she was trying to relate it to how she feels looking at a blank canvas. It's a fresh start. She can do anything that she wants. I do not get the same feeling looking at an empty page. Rather than an artist with a blank canvas, I feel like a laborer with a shovel. I might have a good story or a compelling idea, but it's buried beneath a heavy mound of grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. The best part of writing is when you're done, or at least when you've broken a sweat and gained a little momentum.

In other news, I finished another live stream today. Truth be told, the muffled audio and grainy video of my first broadcast left me so discouraged I barely wanted to try again. But I found some new software that could automatically optimize for quality and let me do some fancy things like choose where my face floats over my desktop and transition to a cut screen when I get up. The picture was clear. The audio was soothing - just some faint reverberations from my keyboard while I typed, but very fixable. I was ecstatic.

This session pretty much wraps up everything I had planned for automating the home project board. I have my sights set on something a little more ambitious for the next time - a jekyll plugin, a commandline tool, or maybe even a small video game.

As I wrapped up the stream, I followed the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls into the kitchen. They were delicious, and against my better judgment I helped myself to two of them. After all, I felt like I had earned a second cinnamon roll. I woke up early and arranged all the measured ingredients on the counter so Marissa could roll out of bed and start baking.

"Baking mise en place is probably the most expensive add-on in our kitchen," I joked. "Your bill next month will be really steep."

Eating two homemade cinnamon rolls is almost never a good idea. All at once, I felt like I was hit by a tranquilizer dart. I collapsed onto the couch like a recaptured grizzly bear.

Rodney and I played Super Nintendo on the couch. He excused himself to poop upstairs. Today's poop prize was four tiny capsules of Marvel Avenger's brand Power Putty - a cheap knock-off of silly putty. I cut it out of the plastic and handed him a wad of goo.

"There you go, dude," I said. "I'm not sure what you're supposed to do with it. Maybe it bounces?"

I hurled some of the putty at the wall. It struck the wall with a wet thud and rolled to the floor. "Alright, I guess you're just supposed to squeeze it. Have fun."

Rodney disappeared into his room for afternoon quiet time. Coming out of my nap for a second time, I awoke to Rodney and Marissa quietly working on something in the corner. Rodney was patiently sitting in Marissa's lap while she teased something out of his hair.

"What happened here?" I laughed.

"I kinda got a little power putty stuck in my hair," he said.

"He also put some in his shirt and squeezed it, and now it's stuck there too," Marissa smirked.

Gotta be careful with that power putty - it's no joke. Have a great day, everyone.