Friday, June 18 2021

sick days, the snack table nazi, and chicken wild rice

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Friday. It's a good thing you're reading this journal entry from the safety of your own computer screen. I shudder to think about what kind of awful cold virus spores I'd expose you to if we were talking in person. I've sneezed three times just while writing this opening paragraph. This is a bad one, dear reader. Scratchy throat. Dripping nostrils. Head feeling inflated with warm helium gas. But I'm feeling just a little better than I did yesterday, and I wouldn't be here right now if I didn't feel like getting some work done.

Sometimes sick days can recharge you in a weird way. My body feels less than optimal, but my brain feels awake and alert. So this morning I've got my metaphorical combat boots on ready to run back into the trenches of software. I'm armed to the teeth with hot coffee, dayquil, and comfy clothes. Let's slug it out one more day for each other - for the weekend.

Sip. How are you feeling today? Feeling healthy? Take a deep, booger-free inhale through your nose just for me. I'm feeling just fine today. I expect to run out of steam sometime in the early afternoon. Earlier this week I set up a happy hour with the interns, and my attendance will be questionable. I couldn't in good conscience hand this obnoxious summer cold over to anyone through sharing drinks at the terrace, but I always leave room for a miracle.

What can you even write about when you're sick? I can easily sum up yesterday with a short tag line: sleep and youtube.

There was also lots of reading. Winking in and out of naps on the couch, I feel like I read every scrap of football news on the Internet. I checked in on how our QB Justin Fields was faring in the final days of Bears OTA's. I caught up on the scuttle around the Bears putting in a bid on the Arlington racetrack as a possibility for a new stadium. I even peeked for new developments in the Aarond Rodgers drama. I feel thoroughly informed of all trivia happening around Halas hall.

The news of the Bears putting in an actual bid on the racetrack surprised me. I understand the mix of emotions people are feeling. On one hand, Soldier Field is tiny, frigid, and objectively a little ugly. But its unique, and it deserves respect as a part of the team's history. And you can't beat the view of the lake front and the skyline, and the feeling of watching a football game in the proper city. If they leave they stadium, I'll understand, and I'll be grateful I got to watch at least one game there in my lifetime.


I've actually been to the Arlington Racetrack a few times. It's down the street from my high school, and one year I spent an entire week there for youth group to help put on a vacation bible school for the local kids. I got off easy that week - some of the kids had to fulfill roles of teacher, mentor, and Spanish translator. I held it down all week at the snack table. I had goldfish crackers, ice cold lemonade, and chocolate chip cookies at the ready for waves of children that would descend in fifteen minute increments. I remember I had a good system, and my rigor earned me the affectionate nickname snack table nazi.

For a sick day, Rodney was a great YouTube binging companion. He slithered under the thick living room blanket with me, and the two of us cleared a whole playlist of spider and reptile videos. We watched a special edition Christmas video from the Snake Discovery people where they fed their lizards, pythons, and even an alligator. Watching all the rigamarole I was glad that none of our pets required a daily feeding of wet mice, frozen rabbits, or unwanted chunks of deer carcass.

Just for laughs, Rodney and I revisted a video from our favorite Youtube channel Exotics Lair. He's this guy from Signapore who has a whole room full of tarantulas, and he makes these funny videos mocking how confrontational his spiders get over daily maintenance. His best video is a compilation of Orange Baboon Tarantulas reacting to getting their water bowl changed. Orange Baboon Tarantulas are known for being aggressive. I've seen some jokes where people refer to the abbreviation OBT as Orange Bitey Thing.

For dinner, Marissa treated me to homemade chicken wild rice. That soup might be the official state soup of Minnesota, and it's a real treat when it's prepared by a Minnesota native. Serving me a hot bowl, Marissa brought me back to a vivid memory.

"I remember one time you asked me about a really simple meal I had that stuck with me," she said. "It was this soup. My dad and I each bought a bowl at a restaurant when we went to see David Archuleta in concert."

After Rodney went to bed, I grabbed my laptop and returned to the couch. After spending the whole day napping and watching YouTube, I felt like writing some code. I ended up writing some of the best code I've ever made last night. Writing code makes for wonderful little dopamine rushes that can distract you when you're sick, especially because it doesn't expend so much energy and it doesn't aggravate headaches. I felt inspired to completely redo my website, and I finished so much of it yesterday that I think it might actually happen this time.

That's what I got today. I ran a little short today, so I'm just going to have to treat you to some new pictures to close the gap in the word debt. Thanks for stopping by today, have a great Friday.