Wednesday, March 17 2021

pictures, slumps, and leeks

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Wednesday. The anniversary of last Wednesday. Additionally, at the time I'm writing this paragraph I just remembered that it's St. Patrick's day today. Did you remember to wear green?

I forgot too. And not only am I not wearing any green, but by chance I happened to grab my bright orange Dutch pride t shirt. If I remember history correctly, I think wearing orange on St. Patrick's day could be seen as an act of defiance - a outward gesture of loyalty to Cromwell instead of the free Irish or something. There is a Dutch flag printed on the back of this t shirt, so if I get into hot water for my outfit choice at least I have some proof that it wasn't intentional.

Sip. So how are you feeling today? Hanging in there? Feeling good? How about a nice, soothing picture of a sunset.

2021 03 17 sunset

Now isn't that lovely? I have this hourly script running on my home server that synchronizes mine and Marissa's favorite shots from Google photos, and I have another script installed on every computer in the house to randomly choose one as the wallpaper every ten minutes. The bigger that album gets, the harder it is to keep everything straight, and I have more moments like this morning where I boot my laptop and see a picture that I don't even remember. Sometimes I'll see a baby picture and I can barely tell if it's Rodney or Miles. In some pictures they look so similar. The biggest clue isn't their physical features, but the photo quality itself. When we had Rodney, our phones weren't very good, and we wouldn't upgrade to something decent until we had Miles, and as a result he gets to be front and center in the golden age of Recker family home photography.

I'm writing in a different spot today. I'm back on the bench by the window in Rodney's play corner. Yesterday Marissa tried going through some old toys in the basement to see if we had anything new for Miles. Each time she tries that, Rodney gets excited about the old toy reunion and takes everything out to play with. It's been a while since I've seen him tool around the house with old friends like faded toy drum, generic abacus, and singing car keys. He's a sucker for nostalgia I guess.

I'm writing in a new spot because I'm hoping to get some inspiration. I've been in a bit of a writing slump for the past few days. I write the same amount every day, but during these slumps I don't feel like I have anything interesting to say. I don't enjoy the final product. I don't look forward to sharing it. Writing these entries is an important part of my day, but it's also a sort of diagnostic for how the rest of my life is going. It's a writing slump, but it's a bit of a life slump too.

Work has been tough. I'm in a difficult season of life right now where I feel busy but I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything. I have three to four meetings a day, I have a hand in lots of different efforts, but I don't feel very effective. Busy and frantic - by quitting time I'm exhausted, and yet at the same time I feel listless and drifting.

In other news, I have a vegetable question. Are leeks seasonal? Leek and potato soup is a frequent staple on our dinner table, especially in the winter, but these leeks I'm buying are hardly edible. You know how when you cook with leeks, you're supposed to trim and peel away the green leaves and slice up the white part? These leeks I'm working with don't even have a white part. It's all green, and by the time I whittle it down I'm left with nothing but a yellow woody stem. Last night I did the same to four leeks and I barely had enough for a batch of soup. I had to fill in the gaps with green onions and shallots, but without enough leeks, leek and potato soup just tastes like potato soup.

I gotta get to the bottom of this. You all know me - given the tumultuous relationship between me and my friendly local Hy-Vee, I'm prone to just blame it all on them. Maybe they're buying leeks on the cheap. Maybe their leeks are just props to be displayed in your kitchen and they're not actually meant to be eaten.

Want to know the funny part? Rodney loved the soup, and for a kid who detests potatoes in any other form, I found it funny watching him hungrily and gratefully lap up what was essentially liquid mashed potatoes. Overhearing me complain about the lack of leeks, I drew his own conclusion for why he preferred this version.

"I don't like onions," he stated at the table. "They make your eyes dry out." Rodney is convinced that he doesn't like onions, and I think it all stems from that one time he was helping me in the kitchen and he took a cheese grater to a red onion. The fumes bothered his eyes, and what else would a little kid do but rub his eyes with his own liquid onion dripping fingers? What an ordeal that was.

That's what I got today. I don't know what my deal is lately or where this "slump" is coming from, but it felt good to write about and I appreciate you reading it. Sometimes in engineering if you can't find the source of a problem, you have no choice but to carry on and hope the problem either goes away or becomes more obvious. That's a very scientific way of looking at things, there's nothing wrong with just waiting for more data, right?

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Have a great Wednesday today - oh, and happy St. Patrick's day, why not?