Friday, October 15 2021

strong baby, gecko shopping, and spiker

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to Friday. There are plenty of good vibes to go around today. We've got the Bears and the Packers on Sunday. We've got a Hawks game tonight. Homemade pizza and beer waits in my future. And we're only eight hours or so away from kissing work goodbye until Monday. Happy Friday.

The house is always quiet once Rodney leaves for school. Before I sat down to read, I scooped up Minnie into my lap for a long snuggle. I've been trying to go out of my way to dote on her this week. We think Minnie might be going into heat soon, and the scary new hormones have really been messing with her puppy emotions. We've caught her quietly growling at her brother and sister. She's had a minor potty training relapse. I think it's high time to break out the girl dog diapers, which are unfortunately hilarious. Something about a grumpy girl dog waddling around in a diaper makes it impossible not to laugh, even in such a delicate transition.

Sip. Would you settle an argument for us? I've been kicking around the idea of introducing a reoccurring character into Rodney's napkin doodles, almost like a newspaper comic strip. Last night after making his lunch, I busted out the napkins and sharpies and poured out my vision. I came up with the strong baby.


Strong Baby

Beefy arms, a puffed up chest, silly buck teeth, a full diaper, and wobbly little baby legs. I think Strong Baby had all the makings of a new lovable cartoon character. Just imagine all the hilarious trouble Strong Baby could get into. Maybe he sits up from the bench after doing a hundred bench presses and says CHANGE ME in a gruff voice. Maybe he's so strong that he can punch through baby gates or pick up real cars and trains as if they were toys.

"You're not putting that in his lunch," said Marissa in shock.

"Why not?" I asked.

"I... don't know. It makes me uncomfortable, but I'm not sure why," she said, rocking back on her heels.

"I'm not convinced," I said, reaching for Rodney's lunch box. "Look, strong baby is here to stay - he's going to become a thing."

"Please no," said Marissa. "I don't like strong baby. We're going to freak his teacher out."

She had a point. Personally, I think Strong Baby would have played well with Rodney's friends, but I'm not so sure about his teacher. Maybe the world isn't quite ready for Strong Baby yet.

"Please make a new napkin," pleaded Marissa.

I finally obliged. Why does Marissa have such a monopoly on all the art around here? When do I get let my artistry flourish?

In other news, Marissa, Rodney, and Miles took a long car ride yesterday to scope out a leopard gecko dealer. When you are so excited about getting a new gecko, you can really build up a place in your head and set expectations too high. Her expectations were much too high for the dinky little reptile outlet she found outside of Milwaukee. There was little to hide in the cramped office building staffed by a single goth twenty year old kid, and it didn't take long for he and Marissa to go at it over her enclosure size. The guy was hell bent on making her walk out with one of the tiny plastic boxes they sold in the store.

"OK, fine," he said smugly. "If you want to kill your gecko."

"What do they do in a big enclosure?" asked Marissa.

"They freeze up and totally freak out," he said, trying to drum up fear. "They won't eat."

"I don't understand," said Marissa. "Then how do they even survive in the wild?"

"Food is more plentiful," he said.

Marissa and I laughed about the conversation later over the phone.

"More plentiful... than a glass tank filled with food?" Marissa laughed.

In case you were wondering, driving to a dinky reptile outlet in Milwaukee isn't the best way to acquire a gecko. Marissa found some resources that introduced her to the world of online gecko breeders, and they're all over the place. She found an awesome breeder in Wisconsin who took real photos of the specimens, listed the exact birthdays, and made us feel better about the whole thing than our friend at the Milwaukee pet store did. The downside is that we're not picking one up today as we had hoped. It will take a little more time, but at least we feel like we're doing it the right way.

During work yesterday, I fed a round of roaches to the spiders. Leo and Venom gave me excellent takedowns. Karta continues to be pickier about the size. She turned her nose up at a full sized adult, waiting until I brought out a much smaller juvenile.

Meanwhile, Spiker still hasn't left his fortress of solitude. The entrance remains barricaded by dirt. It drives me nuts that I can't see what he's up to in there. Is he molting? Is he digging? Is he dead? Until he gives us an update, I've resigned to just caring for an empty box filled with dirt. All I can do is keep the ground moist and patiently wait for the big reveal - and give it a discerning sniff once in a while, if he's dead hopefully the smell will make it obvious.

Spiker, if you're still alive, you're a mysterious spider. That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by today, have a great Friday everyone.