Monday, April 5 2021


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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Monday.

Even under the cover of written text, I'm finding it hard to hide how I really feel about this Monday. Am I thrilled about the prospect of jumping online an hour from now and working until quitting time? Not particularly. But that's where all this delicious coffee comes in. I'll just be here at the computer guzzling one cup after another until I feel human again.

There's light at the end of the tunnel. My work week only lasts until Tuesday. On Wednesday begins my highly anticipated puppy vacation. We're not leaving to get Minnie until this weekend, but I wisely padded the long car trip with a few extra days. I'll use the front half of the vacation to rest up from this past Easter weekend, and the back half of course to roll around on the living room floor with our new little puppy like an idiot. Pretty simple plan, right? Not bad for a Spring Break if I say so myself.

So I guess I don't need to be in top form today. I definitely have some work to do today and tomorrow - mostly around setting up the interns for the week that I'm gone. Who knows, maybe with my spring break right around the corner, that will give me a sudden burst of diligence and I'll feel like taking on something big.

Sip. So Easter weekend. How was it? The evidence of Easter celebration is all over the house - the most damning being the colorful plastic eggs still rolling around on the deck. With a mess like this, you have to pace yourself. Chip away at it. And it also helps if Marissa takes care of most of the dishes while you're napping on the couch. At least we're set up with food for a while. By my calculations, we'll be eating Easter leftovers until... next Easter.

Easter food is dangerous, and I'll explain why. You know how different kind of food pair with different activities? Steak makes you feel like staying up late and socializing. Soup makes you feel like reading. Maybe hash makes you feel like cleaning and working in the yard. But what does Easter ham make you feel like doing? Absolutely nothing. In fact, it just kind of makes you feel like eating more ham. And while you got the ham out of the fridge, might as well just fill up a little plate and take it over by the couch, right? This is the post Easter paradox I'm living in. I have a lot of chores to catch up on, and I could probably benefit from a final burst of energy before beginning our spring break, but the only thing we have to eat around here is ham.

Eats a bite of ham out of the fridge. So how did your Easter go? We had a wonderful time. We hosted Kelly, Jeremy, and their two girls and two dogs. We kept things as low key as possible. In fact, the whole family slept in on Sunday morning mere hours before they arrived. I woke up just long enough to wash the coffee pot and take the bread out of the fridge, then I slithered back into bed. We warmed up for the day as a family. Marissa broke out a bright Easter dress, I got out a button down shirt from the back of my closet, and Rodney... settled on his triceratops t shirt. I overheard him and Marissa deliberating in his closet.

"You don't have a lot of nice clothes left, huh bud?" said Marissa.

"I can wear this, I think." Said Rodney.

"No, you can't wear your spider-man suite," sighed Marissa. "Let's go with this dinosaur shirt. I think it's your nicest shirt."

The Kelly and Jeremy clan arrived swiftly. All of the sudden, their dogs Becca and Jojo were prancing around the yard. We greeted them, grabbed some drinks, and as we started to mingle I pulled dinner together.

While we waited for food, to entertain the kids we turned to our arsenal of time wasters. Rodney, Alice, and Frankie decorated sugar cookies on the back porch. We dumped out a treasure trove of dollar store distractions out on the table.

At last, the dinner was finished. We had ham, roasted bell peppers with mushroom and cheese sauce, sweet potato bake, green beans, and Kelly's orzo and asparagus herb salad. After dinner, we went for a long lazy walk around the block. Our caravan of kids and dogs stretched almost the whole block. Rodney and Alice ran ahead of the pack, crouching low on the sidewalk whenever they spotted a beetle or a little pile of ants.

Meanwhile, Marissa stayed behind and prepared the great Easter egg hunt, hiding eggs all around the back yard, front yard, and driveway. The night before we discovered that all the prizes we bought didn't fit in the tiny plastic eggs, so Marissa devised a last minute fix. She filled half the eggs with candy, and the other half with little hand cut gold stars. "If they find a star, they an exchange it for a prize."

"We're adding a whole extra layer of monetization to the egg hunt this year," I teased.

The kids dumped out there eggs on the table. Frankie caught on to the system quickly, and she even came up with her own little trick. One by one, Frankie shook each egg close to her ear. If she heard candy rolling around, she set the egg back down and took another. She knew that the little paper stars didn't make a sound. Clever, isn't it?

After Kelly and Jeremy's clan left, we scarfed a plate of leftovers and crashed on the couch. Marissa and I took turns nodding off while Rodney binged some YouTube. I sent him upstairs to get ready for bed, and he returned a few minutes later.

"Did you clean your room?" I asked.

Rodney nodded.

"Your bed too? Does it look nice?" I pressed.

"Yeah," shrugged Rodney. He stopped on the bottom step, looking at me intently. "Dada, my room is already clean. I didn't even play in it today. I don't have to clean it."

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Monday, everyone.

Psych. I wouldn't even consider leaving you on Monday without a chump of the week. This week's chump celebrated Easter with us this weekend. Here's how it happened - we were all mingling on the back porch watching the kids open up their Easter eggs. While squeezing behind a chair, Jeremy lost his footing and fell back against our house. Somehow, his leg pulled up a whole piece of wood siding on his way down to the ground. The paint cracked, and the whole slat of wood was exposed.

The whole catastrophe took place within a second, but there are lots of things to analyze. Jeremy, by his own account, is strong and athletic. He speaks highly of his own agility, reflexes, and balance. But that begs the question, how did he trip on his own shoes so disastrously that he managed to pull up a piece of our hundred year old house? Could it have happened to anyone? Perhaps. And though it may seem cruel to single him out for this totally unintentional blunder, nobody ever said Chump of the Week would be nice.

Jeremy, for tripping on your own shoes and pulling up a piece of siding off our house, you're a chump.

Have a great week, everyone.