Tuesday, April 13 2021

chewing shoes, ray beezies, and dumplings



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Dear Journal,

Hey everybody. Happy Tuesday. We’re approaching the final day of my spring break, and the work scaries are starting to set in. I’m not quite ready to go back, and that feeling of dread compounded when I caught sight of how many slack messages and emails I have waiting for me. Dread. Malaise. Ennui.

I guess I can’t put all the blame on work. I’m having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. Chores, watching kids, cooking meals. Every time I try to summon the will to wake up early, clean something, and do something constructive, the vacation mindset pulls me right back. Even though I’ve been home for a full two days, mentally I’m still what you might call the Primanti Brothers state of mind.

2021 04 13 state of mind

My brain replays this moment whenever I try to do laundry.

Sip. In other news, Minnie is still adjusting well. She had us wondering for a full day whether or not she would ever have an accident in the house, but the little booger finally sprung a leak in the middle of our living room. Does this make her not perfect? Far from it. It turns out that when girl puppies have accidents on the floor, it’s not the least bit a problem. Their potty just smells like dribbled some rose water or oil from a lavender scented diffuser on the floor. The point is, Minnie still carries an unblemished record as a new child puppy in our home - absolutely perfect.

She does chew shoes though. That’s a new one for us, and it will no doubt shake the delicate ecosystem of our house. Our family is - (how do I put this lightly?) - terrible at putting away our shoes. We’re shoe idiots - we don’t know how to manage our shoes. I’m not just finger-wagging either. I’m just as guilty as Marissa and Rodney of not putting our shoes away in the shoe cubbies when we’re done with them. I started all the trouble when I made a special exception for my black Adidas flip-flops. Then we were leaving out our boots and shoes. Fast forward to present day, and now when Rodney enters the house he flings his shoes in the middle of the kitchen, and I don’t always catch him right away. But a shoe eater? This changes everything. Hopefully Minnie can teach us a lesson that we couldn’t learn on our own, paying the price with gnawed shoe laces and slippers.

2021 04 13 minnie

A pair of high heels, and for dessert, a computer charger.

We had a good day today. We slept in, and after spending the morning drinking coffee and lounging around, we got everyone ready for a quick trip to the lake. Marissa is sending some footage for an ink company to use in a big art conference, and they needed some pensive establishing shots of her walking around some place scenic. The lake side setting a few blocks from our house was perfect, and the swirling grey clouds and churning wind looked very dramatic.

Rodney and I waited for Marissa outside in the driveway. Rodney was sporting his new sunglasses he brought back from Mimi and Poppa’s house. They looked like Spider-Man themed Ray Ban’s. I took it as a personal challenge to try to get Rodney to refer to them as his Ray Beezies.

“Hey Rod, those are some really sweet Ray Beezies you’re wearing,” I said, prompting some organic conversation.

“Yeah, I think they’re pretty cool this time,” replied Rodney.

“Man I wish I had some Ray Beezie’s like that,” I continued. “Hey dude, would you mind if I took a picture of you in your Ray Beezie’s?”

Mission accomplished. After sneaking Ray Beezies into the conversation at least three times, Rodney could be heard later in the evening looking for his Ray Beezies. “Hey dad, have you seen my Ray Beezies anywhere? I think I left my Ray Beezies downstairs. I’d like to keep my Ray Beezies in my room.”

2021 04 13 ray beezies

Rodney looks undeniably cool in his Ray Beezies.

We took a short drive to the lake. We shielded Miles from the wind by wrapping a blanket around his car seat. I left him just a few feet away in the grass while I taped Marissa walking thoughtfully along the water. It always feels funny taking Miles on trips like that.

After we got home, I got to work on dinner. In the food world, it feels like whenever I learn about something new I start seeing it everywhere in unrelated places. Last night while catching up on YouTube I saw an instructional video for Ukrainian dumplings.

“Those look kind of like pierogi,” I remarked. Similar size, filling, and texture. I googled the term in the video. “They ARE pierogi,” I exclaimed.

The stars were aligning for me to try pierogi. I followed the steps in the video, only I fried them in butter at the very end. They were decent. My dumpling dough could have been a little thinner, but what really stole the show were the grilled paprika onions. Meow.

2021 04 13 dumplings

Oh, I realize I missed chump of the week yesterday. If I had remembered to do chump of the week, I would have handed the honor to Four Seasons diner just outside the Ohio turnpike. Four Seasons, from the outside you looked like a charming, diamond in the rough purveyor of American comfort food. We looked to you for french toast and waffles like desert wanderers to an oasis. But little did we know you were just a grade school cafeteria in disguise. Thanks for flopping my strawberry sauced french toast into the to-go bag like it was a new pair of tennis shoes. Thanks for making sure Marissa’s Belgian waffle was as room temperature as it could possibly be. Thanks for accepting a tip, but letting me slink away without forks, knives, napkins, or maple syrup. That’s right, folks - for her birthday dinner, Marissa ate just a bare ass waffle.

Four Seasons, you’re a bunch of chumps!