Tuesday, June 22 2021

a half week, a herd of unicycles, and the squizzle

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to Tuesday. Today marks the first day that I have not wanted to blast my sinuses with a power washer out of frustration. I think my body is finally starting to beat back this damn virus. There's still a lot of extracurricular mucous action at play, but it doesn't feel like it will stay around for a long time. Here's to helper T cells, macrophages, and... platelets? Killer T's? WBC's? It's so easy to forget the things you learned in high school, isn't it?

Sip. My morning shower was cut short this morning. A drop of body wash fell into my right eye, and the stinging pain made me revert to a helpless child. How long has it been since I made a user error like that in the shower? I think this morning I must have ended two decades of unblemished shower success. Just like that - in the blink of an eye, a drop of soap rolls behind your eyelid and everything falls apart. To paraphrase the great Mike Tyson, everyone has a plan until they get soap in their eye. Thank you for your concern - I remain resolute in defeat.

How is your week going? How does your body feel, and what kind of emotions are running through it? This week I'm feeling tense. I feel like I've angered the computer gods when I had the audacity to ask off a half week for my sister in law's wedding, and as punishment they are squeezing five days of work into three. I'm still cleaning up after the last incidents, helping another team build out their secret management, and squeezing in time to check in on the interns. It got so busy this month that I almost forgot about my team switch. In less than two weeks away, I practically begin a whole new career. A bright spec of light at the end of the tunnel. The team switch excites me, and casts a hopeful light on everything. I savor the promise of a fresh start.

Speaking of hope, a half week isn't so bad either. I'm on the hook until Wednesday, then we're taking the whole family up to the twin cities for the holy union of Auntie Megan and Uncle Justin. We're taking the whole damn family - kids, dogs, and maybe I'll even stash a few super worms away as a little wedding present for their bearded dragon Franklin (of course he has an Instagram account: @franklin_the_beardie).

That's about all that's happening in our world, but what about Rodney's world? Rodney was busy yesterday. First, he accompanied mom and his sister Ziggy to agility training. Marissa tells me that Rodney has found a new niche as a dog training distraction. Many dogs have trouble focusing on agility when there are people (especially kids) present. Marissa loans Rodney out to people that want to work on this behavior. Rodney sits and watches the dog practice, and when the dog inevitably runs over to greet him, Rodney gives them the cold shoulder - placing his hands in his lap and looking in a different direction.


Professional dog distraction by Rodney

Rodney has co-opted his broken remote control dinosaur. It's now his baby dinosaur named Shellvin. Shellvin follows Rodney around everywhere, sleeping at his bedside in a cage made from k'nex.


Rodney kept explaining to us that Shellvin came from Ryan's world. The real Shellvin was red and yellow. A quick google search proved him right - the characters name is Shelldon - a tiny red and yellow dinosaur who wears a broken egg shell like a diaper.


I like Shellvin better.

In the afternoon we all took a walk to go pick up some ice cream. We hugged the right edge of the bike patch so the cyclists could safely whiz by, but yesterday we saw different kind of bike traffic. What can only be described as a herd of unicycles rode by.

"Hey look, a unicycle," I commented as the first rode by.

"Did you know that I almost got into unicycles in college? I told my dad I wanted to buy one and he started laughing. I'm really thankful he was honest with me, that would have been a huge mistake," remembered Marissa.

"If you had bought a unicycle, we probably would have never met," I laughed.

More unicycles passed us. Four, five, six. Then an entire wave. It became clear we were walking through some kind of unicycle club. Rodney, who had never seen a real life unicycle before, was doubled over from laughter. He just couldn't wrap his head around the concept.

I support a wide range of hobbies, but the unicycle feel like a strange choice even for a hobby. I feel like even the inventor of the first unicycle would be surprised to learn that people in the future would use the unicycle as a real means of transportation. How do you brake? How do you go down hill? And what the hell are you supposed to do with your hands? As the herd of unicycles passed us, I saw some people holding them out for balance, some people holding them limply at their side, and some people just looked awkward like they had nobody to talk to at a party.

Later that day, I took Rodney to ice skating class. To my great parenting shame, I forgot to grab Rodney's helmet. Beside him, his classmates wore hockey pads, mittens, and bike helmets, and Rodney stuck out like a sore thumb. Just his skates, a hoodie, and his shaggy blond hair.

Yesterday he mastered the squizzle. The squizzle is a difficult move where you carve your skates in a wide circle, moving your body forward. After his first successful squizzle, he flung his arms into the air and celebrated like he had just won a gold medal. He's a joy to watch at practice - not because he's getting good, but because he looks so grateful to be there.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Tuesday everyone.