Tuesday, June 1 2021

a day off, a walk with ziggy, and ultimate red titan

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the new week in a brand new month. Does anyone else feel a little intimidated? I feel like the month of June came too quickly, and so did work week too while we're at it. I wish we could have just one more Memorial day, but alas, it's looks like we're stuck with a work Tuesday.

I wish I could spend one more morning sitting outside on the deck with the dogs. Pour a cup of coffee, and either read a book or just stare off into space.


Sip. How did your day off go? If not for the holiday, I think my brain would have been too broken to do anything this week. Getting home from the art show weekend on Sunday with the boys, I reached new levels of tired. My body ached. My skin felt hot and dry from sitting in the sun. Every teething shriek from Miles felt like someone was cracking a whip between my eyes. It was the first night in a while we were in bed before midnight. I turned off all the alarms and backup alarms in the house so we would wake up naturally ten hours later. Sleep makes everything better, doesn't it?

For how tiring the weekend was, the boys did great. Rodney was on his best behavior because he knew what was at stake. If he remembered his manners, followed instructions, and stayed calm for the whole weekend, Marissa promised him the Ryan's World Ultimate Red Titan action figure. Mysteriously, the toy was sitting on the doorstep when we woke up. Rodney sprang out of his seat at the breakfast table and stood over Marissa while she opened the box.

There he was. Gleaming red plastic armor. Fierce yellow horns. A spear-shooting arm. A set of included batteries. Marissa loaded them into the back of the robot, but no dice. None of the buttons on the robot seemed to make it talk or light up.

Marissa continued to fidget with the doll. She looked for a hidden panel. She tried a different set of batteries. But the robot remained motionless. Out of frustration, she whapped it on the head with her open hand. Ultimate Red Titan's eyes glowed. So slimy! it yelled.

We found two small metal contact points on top of its head. These needed to be pressed at the same time (or in this case, slapped with one hand) to make the robot talk. Now that we were all invested in the Ultimate Red Titan, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. The robot did work, and all that good behavior this weekend was for something.


I sat with Rodney at the breakfast table a little longer while he played with Ultimate Red Titan. Rodney demonstrated the shooter arm that propelled plastic spears with a spring loaded cannon. His chest opened up so the Ryan action configure could ride safely inside and observe through a clear window. Ultimate Red Titan's feet also opened up like a hatch. Inside was the "mystery sidekick" - a little purple marble with googly eyes.

"So who is this guy?" I asked.

"That's Moe," said Rodney.

"Oh, is he the bad guy?" I asked.

Rodney shook his head. "No, Moe is a good guy. The bad guy is dark titan."

I suppose we'll have to buy a Dark Titan too. We'll save that for another weekend where we need extra good behavior.

The play kit also came with a cup of slime, a staple in the Ryan's World universe. This slime was a brilliant, goopy gold. Rodney dumped it out onto a dinner plate to reenact his own action scene. Ultimate Red Titan used his spear shooter to free Moe from the gold slime.


After morning playtime, I took Ziggy for a walk. I could tell she was still a little pissed that we left her in Rockford all weekend with her older brother. It's a good kennel and they treat her well enough, but with girls like Ziggy there's just no end to what they think they deserve, so an apology is always in order.

We took a long, sunny walk around the neighborhood. We kept walking through the end of the block into the nature trail. It was a peaceful time, except for the one or two times a bike whizzed by and Ziggy lunged on her leash to cuss them out.

Rodney and I would go shopping later in the day. We took the wagon to the Jenny Street market, and Ultimate Red Titan joined us. We had a few close calls with Moe. The google eyed marble skittered across the floor, and it would have been lost if a kind neighbor hadn't stopped him from bouncing away with his foot. For continued good behavior, Rodney got to pick out something from the ice box.


We grilled out for dinner. We went with some simple barbecue chicken, lightly blistered bell peppers, soft asparagus, crispy yellow potatoes, and some seared andouille sausages. When we were done eating, we sat around the fire a little longer while I burned pieces of a dead branch that fell in the neighbor's yard. It was a nice night.


Since we missed out on chump of the week, my offering today is the tip of the week. Have you ever gotten something stuck on the ledge of a window? A few weeks ago I landed the perfect bottle flip, throwing a plastic bottle from the deck onto the ledge beneath Rodney's window. Yesterday we had the idea to use a can of compressed air to get it down.

Genius, isn't it? This week's bit of wisdom - never underestimate what you can do with a can of compressed air. Thanks for stopping by today, and have a happy Tuesday.