Thursday, September 23 2021

the perfect crunch, anemone wandering, and football

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Thursday. I'm joined in the dining room by our resident toddler Miles, who is just getting started with a spread of dry honey nut Cheerios. Not a bad breakfast, Miles. Our dogs, always the optimists, huddle at his feet hoping that Miles will have one of his messier mornings.

I'm just glad Minnie finally has something to take her mind off of the little wooden and plastic bridge we plucked from her lair last night. Based on Minnie's reaction, we think that, from a puppy's perspective, it may have been the most perfect toy she's ever stolen from Rodney's stash - the perfect crunch. The treated wood used in those little train track segments chews like puppy beef jerky, and adding in those thin snappable plastic segments from the suspension bridge? Now that's just a delicacy.

This morning, Minnie darted back to the dining room table, casting big, doughy, longing eyes at me. Please, father, she said wordlessly. I've never wanted anything more in my life than I want that chewed up toy bridge.

Marissa was stronger than I was. She flipped it into the kitchen garbage this morning. I thought Minnie's world was going to cave in, but she showed admirable resolve - maybe not quick to forgive, but quick to assure herself that there would soon be something else to chew on. Around here there's always something to chew on - a toy spatula, a Paw Patrol figurine, the cardboard insert from a paper towel roll. Bottom feeders never go hungry.

Sip. So happy Thursday. Have you chewed on anything good recently? I don't have anything in front of me but a hot cup of coffee, and that will work just fine until lunch time. I'm looking forward to a quiet workday, especially after getting pulled between so many different meetings yesterday. Yesterday left my brain so fried that I had to take a power nap just to finish out the day.

Marissa is feeling better. The negative COVID tests must have helped her immune system rally, and before we knew it she was on her feet cleaning, working outside, and battling a wandering anemone. Did you know that anemone's wander? Even after placing the gooey little resident in a perfect spot on the reef with optimal light and circulation, he continues to wander. If only we could cordon off his designated area with a baby gate much like the way we keep a wandering Miles in the living room.


Hey, stupid. Stop moving around so much.

In other news, ice skating lessons are back, and Rodney and I are already enjoying the vibe of fall ice skating classes. The groups are smaller. The program feels more organized. Everyone in the building feels like they're in "school mode". They also make a much bigger deal out of wearing name tags.


Rodney ready to hit the ice.

Rodney looked comfortable and confident. You wouldn't even know he had taken a four week break off his skates - even his backwards swizzles are finally starting to click.

When we returned from practice, we all filed into the living room. Each dog and human in the family occupying a spot on the couch, we formed a single mass of pillows, blankets, and body temperature. The rest of the family drifted off to sleep, giving me full reign with the remote control, so I caught up on football highlights.

I laugh thinking about my own personal goal two years ago to become a true football fan. I wanted to be a good fan - passionate and knowledgeable. It's clear to me now that becoming a football fan is so easy, you can practically fall backwards into it. There is always something to read, watch, laugh at, or argue, even if absolutely nothing is happening in the NFL. There are always highlight videos, game predictions, rumors, hot takes, and break downs. And twitter has made it easier than ever to write Internet articles about nothing.

"NFL world reacts to Aaron Rodgers earth shattering news," reads the headline. But there's never any true earth shattering news, is there? Maybe he made a joke that was taken out of context. But no joke is too small for a Yahoo news article.

My favorite kind of Internet journalism is the articles that just string people's tweets together. Matt Nagy announces Andy Dalton will be the starter once he's healthy. One twitter user writes "Nagy is an idiot." Another twitter user writes, "Nagy looks like Caillou without his visor on."

But every now and then I find a good video that makes the hunt worth it. I love the videos that stretch out a few seconds of game footage into a ten minute explanation. Football is so complicated, and there are so many details left on the field to study. Receivers running routes, defenses disguising coverages, and all the fascinating tricks these men use to overcome each other at the line of scrimmage.

My arms fall off the table. I lean back in my chair. "Ugh, now I'm just talking about football," I sigh. "For some reason I just have no idea what to talk about."

"We're getting outdoor pictures of the house taken. Oh and I'm picking out new colors for our cabinets - you can talk about that if you want," says Marissa. Her canvas stretcher snaps loudly, echoing in the dining room. I roll my eyes.

"I'm just trying to help," she says.

If I'm down to discussing football, outdoor photos, or new colors for our cabinets, then I think the word well is officially dry. That means we're all done writing for the morning.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Thursday, everyone.