Saturday, June 12 2021

a horse movie, panic attacks, and a bathroom success

page banner

Dear Journal,

Good evening, everybody. Hope you're having a good Saturday. The kids are in bed, and a wild night of revelry lies ahead of us. More specifically, we're each drinking a single glass of wine, and with my permission Marissa put on some live action horse movie from her childhood. I'm sure I could just ask her the name of the movie, but wouldn't it be more fun to try to guess, or just come up with one ourselves? A little boy dressed like a cowboy frantically leads a horse and a native girl around a ranch in the desert. I think they are trying to avoid bombs or explosives. Who would try to bomb horses and children? Must be a movie about the Nazis. Every now and then, a voice over of the horse makes a sad, wistful comment, much like the old lady narrator in the Titanic.

The people (peasants?) have boarded a steam locomotive, and they were all very upset with the boy for trying to bring his horse along. They drag the boy kicking and screaming into the locomotive. The horse runs after the train fruitlessly. "They were taking my boy away", he ponders, watching the train vanish into the horizon.

Now I was all alone. I would never see my friend again.

The camera follows the horse (whose name is Lucky?) back to the desolate town where hundreds of other horses are haplessly wandering. I have to assume now that Lucky inspires them all to rebuild the town, and they go on as a thriving community run by horses.

Cut to a menacing set of black hooves stamping on the ground. A mean black horse chases Lucky away.

"Why did Caesar hate me so much? I was just a young colt who wanted some water," says Lucky. "I would rather die than bow to Caesar." Oh nice - that line had a double meaning.

Based on these context clues, I'm going to guess that this movie is called A Horse to Love. The Heart of a Horse. Horsequest.

That's enough ripping on Marissa's childhood horse movie. I had my own lazy night on the couch yesterday, and I filled the whole evening watching YouTube videos about spiders. Everyone is entitled to zonk out on the couch and binge something from their childhood.

Sip. How's your weekend going? Mine has hat its ups and downs. Friday morning I woke up feeling a little wound up from the night before. Going from a work, to an incident, to cooking, to another incident, to staying up late with company - it all left me feeling a little drained, but I thought I could manage one last day. I got through a few meetings, then the most terrible feeling came over me. My heart was racing. I felt like I couldn't get a deep breath. I couldn't see my computer screen.

"You're probably having a panic attack," said Marissa.

It didn't feel warranted, but I canceled the rest of my meetings for the day. I reached out to my team, my interns, and a few other engineers that were still cleaning up after the incident. After a few hours in bed, I felt more assured about taking the day off. It felt like my brain was crashing. My body felt exhausted and my thoughts raced.

I would sleep the rest of the afternoon. I went for a long walk around the neighborhood. I put on some music, cleaned up the kitchen, and cooked dinner at a contemplative pace. We went for a family walk. I took the rest of the night off too, that's where I had my turn on the couch and watched Spider videos until bedtime.

Saturday went a little better for me. Marissa took the dogs to an agility trial. Rodney, Miles, and I slept in and ate a small breakfast. Rodney followed me around the house while I did odd jobs. We cleaned up the kitchen, put the dog toys away, and checked on our hibernating superworms. To our delight, two of the worms had formed pupas.


Rodney asked if he could head across the backyard and play with Lyra. I gave the OK, and he excitedly ran up the stairs to fetch his homemade hockey equipment. He had been wearing it all weekend - his Kaner jersey, camo gloves, a k'nex hockey stick, and a helmet. The helmet is my favorite piece of the ensemble - a small k'nex cube that he squeezes his head into.


The neighbors were kind enough to keep an eye on Rodney all morning. He and Lyra played in the sandbox, picked mulberries, befriended a caterpillar, and ate popsicles. Rodney got to hang out with their cats too.


Other highlights of the weekend. Marissa finally conquered our bathroom. Remember that simple job to replace the faucet and drain? She ripped out the entire sink and put in a new one. A bathroom success.


We took a family trip to a burger place. The weather was beautiful, Marissa and I had to tall crisp beers in front of us. But the perforated outdoor table left both Miles and Rodney so confused. Miles spilled his puffs all over the floor. Rodney lost two french fries, and just decided to run around the empty patio instead.


Thanks for stopping by. Have a great Saturday.