Monday, August 16 2021

a drunk friend, a secret snack enthusiast, and a cheap sprinkler

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Monday. Groggy? Content? Caffeinated? However you're feeling, we're all heading into the same Monday, so we might as well get started.

Rodney was up early today. Before heading downstairs to write, I peeked my head into his bedroom to see what he was up to.

"Good morning," I said.

"Something is wrong with Baby Shellvin," said Rodney. "He was crying last night because you wouldn't give him a hug and kiss."

Rodney speaks the truth. Last night after giving Rodney a hug and a peck in accordance with his bedtime routine, he held his toy T-Rex Shellvin out so he could receive the same. It would have been easy enough to humor him and kiss that T-Rex right on the faded rubber teeth. But Rodney's bedtime routine has enough manual steps as it is. I knew that if I were to kiss Baby Shellvin on the mouth, then I would have to kiss him on the mouth every night that followed, and before I knew it I would also be kissing each of his dinosaurs, his snakes, Ryder, Ultimate Red Titan, and rest of the eighty different figurines and stuffed animals he sleeps with. It's a real If You Give a Mouse a Cookie kind of predicament.

"Sorry, Baby Shellvin," I replied humbly. "I'll give you a kiss when I'm done writing as a sorry." So I have that to look forward to when I'm done with this entry.

Sip. So how was your weekend? Did you get up to anything fun or exciting? Marissa and I booked a baby sitter on Friday. After setting Finley up with Rodney and Miles, Marissa and I drove to a nearby brewery to check out a tasting event. But something about seeing the large group of aimless beer drinkers wandering around in the hot sun compelled me to make a undemocratic change of plans. I stepped on the gas, driving right by the brewery and turned around at the next light.

We headed downtown instead. Marissa and I grabbed the only table left outside at one of our favorite brew pubs. As we were chowing down on our burgers and sipping beer, a lady wandered over beside our table. From the way she was swaying in place, we could tell she drunk. She smiled awkwardly in our direction.

"Hellooooo," she said smoothly. "My name is Sarah." She had a thick Spanish accent. She pulled up a chair at our table and sat down. Marissa and I grinned, eager to let the silly interaction pan out.

"Are you two first meeting?" she asked.

"Nope. Married." Marissa and I held up our wedding rings simultaneously.

"Do you have cheeeeldren?" she slurred.

"Yep. Two boys," said Marissa cheerily.

"I jaaav two boys," said the woman. "Teenagers. I am going to CHOOT dem. Do jou have any children?"

"Yep. Two boys," I repeated. Marissa and I began to chuckle. Suddenly the woman stood up, feeling self conscious.

"You two are so cute. You enjoy yourselves. Don't have any children," she said. And with that, our new friend Sarah stumbled down the street, still holding glassware from the restaurant.

"She is like minutes away from puking, isn't she?" laughed Marissa.

Marissa and I wandered the Madison square as night fell. There was live music on the corner of State street. We walked through a Latin dancing event that looked over the water. We weren't feeling bold enough to join all the strangers on the dance floor, but we danced a little bit while waiting in line for churros.


A lively Friday night in Madison.


Local cheesehead struts around Wisconsin's state capital building.

Saturday was a football day. We set aside the whole afternoon to chill out on the couch and take in the Bears game. Afterwards, Rodney and I helped our former-neighbor Lucas pack his moving truck. Marissa treated us to dinner, making a salmon and salad dinner with s'more desserts.

If you weren't aware, Marissa lives her life as a secret snack enthusiast. My sister Kelly describes her as a "lover of very childish snacks", and Marissa whole heartedly embraces this identity. She enjoys goldfish crackers, M&M's, candy corn, and jelly beans as regularly as a preschooler's naptime. Most recently, Marissa has become fixated on graham crackers. Marissa loves to make stealthy, unexpected s'mores over our stove and she is happy to share.

On Sunday after church we headed outside for some yard work. We tilled grass seed into the dry path of dirt made by our former swing set. Marissa hooked up a newly purchased sprinkler. "It's one of the ones that goes CHA-CHA-CHA-CHA CHAKACHAKACHAKA," she said with glee.

But the new sprinkler proved to be a struggle. It seemingly spun around in random circles, spewed water in unpredictable directions, and lacked the distinct sprinkler rhythm.

"You bought the absolute cheapest sprinkler they had, didn't you?" I chided.


Rodney frolics in the spray of a $4.50 sprinkler.

We stayed up late last night to finish a movie. As we were getting ready for bed, I took Spidey's enclosure off the shelf and popped the lid. Marissa reached in with her finger. Spidey clambered over his leaf and perched on it like a bird.


Marissa masterfully handles Spidey like a tiny eight-legged agility dog.

"I can't believe I just did that," she said. "Sorry I kind of got in your spider thing."

"No, I'm grateful," I quickly replied. "The last handling we did with him left me kind of discouraged. But look at how comfortable he is! I think last time we pulled him out of his enclosure to fast and he got spooked."

Marissa carefully moved her finger into the cage. Spidey got the hint and walked backwards back onto his mound.

"He's a nice boy," she said. "Goodnight Spidey."

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