Friday, July 30 2021

wetting the bed, springing spiders, and attacking paint brushes

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody! Boy did I miss you all. Yesterday around this time I was sitting on the couch drinking coffee in preparation of our chaos test at work. I really expected to enjoy taking time off of writing. It will be a nice morning, I thought. Instead of writing for an hour, I'll just get to drink coffee in silence for a thirty minutes before my work day starts. It wasn't as relaxing as I thought it would be. I feel more moody and less social on the days I skip writing. I'm learning that this ritualistic daily yammering plays a big role in getting my thoughts and feelings sorted out for the day.

But man is it good to be back in the journaling saddle, and on the best work day of the week especially. I'm glad we got to check in before a busy weekend of company and travel. Oh, and happy Friday.

Sip. Just to set the stage here, it's 8:39 AM and only Rodney and myself are awake. While reading in the living room, I heard Rodney crack his door open and cross the hallway to use the bathroom. While I was getting ready to jump in the shower, he stuck an arm out of his bedroom and flagged me down. "There's pee in my bed," he said with disgust.

Rodney wets the bed occasionally, but he never fails to amuse me with his posture of finding pee in his bed. I'm not even sure if he knows that it's his pee. He doesn't show embarrassment or shame. If anything, he's annoyed. He seems bothered by the fact that someone would be so inconsiderate as to leave pee in his bed, and it's fun to play along.

"What? How did pee get in there?" I replied. Rodney and I stood in his bedroom staring down at the faded wet spot in his sheets. "Super weird dude. Well, let's get a new sheet over it."

Rodney helped me clear off his bed. While I stretched a new fitted sheet over the mattress, he gave each of his forty stuffed animals and bedside toys the old sniff test. Good as new.

Sip. How's your morning going? I hope nobody left pee in your bed. And how was your Thursday?

Yesterday's earlier morning was different for us, but Marissa and Rodney were good sports. After kicking Marissa out of our bedroom a half hour earlier than usual, she and Rodney set up in the dining room for a painting session. Marissa painted rainbows to give to Alice and Frankie this weekend, and Rodney made some impressionist pieces of his own.

"These are all roller coasters," Rodney explained. It took me a minute to take it all in. Do you see any roller coasters in these muddy smears and bright streaks? I don't, but what do I know about art?


Meanwhile, I was upstairs at my desk on a zoom call, ready for my cue to break the Internet. Craig instructed me to run our script while he was introducing the experiment. "Don't tell people you're starting it, it's more fun when they have to figure out when the outage happened," he explained. "It's a mini-game."

The experiment lasted until lunch. Besides a few more meetings sprinkled in the afternoon, that was pretty much my day. I didn't emerge from my room until 5:30, and I was having one of those afternoons where I would head to the grocery store with no dinner plan and no recipe list. I came home with a stalk of asparagus, a bag of frozen shrimp, a lemon, and a box of linguine. I slapped together a very rushed bowl of shrimp with garlic pasta and greens.

After dinner Rodney suggested we play a game at the table. His new Ryan's World Springin' Spiders set won over our usual Battleship or Connect Four choices. In Springin' Spiders, each player takes turns trying to chip little plastic spiders into the air, and they are awarded points if they get them to hook onto a plastic web.

I had my doubts. Watching Rodney's forty-five dollar Dart Tag sniper rifle deteriorate so quickly soured me to the entire line of Ryan's World toys. But Springin' Spiders seemed simple enough, and there were no cheap springs or flimsy darts involved.

Springin' Spiders shocked us. In no time, we were roaring at the dining room table. It turns out that getting one of those little plastic spiders to land on the upright web is just hard enough to keep things interesting. The game weaves together strategy, defense, and dumb luck without being any more complicated than a silly drinking game.


Speaking of spiders - just in you haven't gotten the heeby jeebies in a while, I have some amusing spider updates. I've recently started to experiment with my most easy-going spider Glassy. Every few days, I take out his box and push him around with a soft tipped paint brush. When the brush comes from the back, he lazily walks forward. When the brush comes from the sides, he gets a little scared at first, but starts to turn and move.

But when the brush comes from the front? He attacks. He lunges his small brown body forward. His tiny fangs pass right through the soft bristles. Sometimes he even tries to hold down the brush with his sticky front legs like he's trying to wrestle and pin down an unlucky cricket.

The behavior had me a little worried at first. Were my "experiments" stressing him out? Did Glassy have a hidden angry streak? Last night I found some answers when I stumbled into the "arachnoboards". I read stories about how tarantulas can strike at plastic straws or paint brushes, thinking they're prey. From my read on the situation, I don't think Glassy is being defensive. He's not shy or skittish. I think he just has a strong hunting instinct, and that's pretty cool. Glassy remains my only spider that will eat in front of an audience - the other two take their food in secret.


Glassy, tired of silly games with paint brushes, climbs back down into his cave.

As a non sequitir ending to this post and as a parting gift for heading into the weekend, have this video of Rodney acting like a total wingiss during yesterday's quiet time.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great weekend, everybody.