Thursday, November 18 2021

an old clock, the seattle kraken, and video games



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Thursday.

Today's banner image is a throwback from a few days ago. I think Corgi's, Minnie included, all have this natural talent for finding the perfect napping spot in unexpected places. In this case, Minnie found a perfectly ergonomic puppy-sized hammock in the middle of some of Miles' old clothes.

The effort to purge old stuff from our house before moving continues. The other night, Marissa and I scaled our creaky basement stairs, each clutching one end of an old grandmother clock. Rodney tagged behind us, carrying the heavy bronze weights in his hands like dumbbells.

We got the grandmother clock from a small family run warehouse several years ago. Marissa had plans to fix it up and display it in our dining room, but she only got as far as giving it a new coat of paint. It turns out when you live in an old house, you don't need to go out of your way to find things to fix. So several years later, the unfinished grandmother clock sat on our curb with a "FREE" sign.

Marissa made a posting on Facebook. I guess fixing up old grandmother clocks is still in style, because her private messages blew up. While eating lunch, she laughed at one message that read What kind of condition is it in?

"Free," I said sarcastically while chewing a mouth full of turkey sandwich.

Another stranger tried to sweetly talk Marissa into driving the clock to their house, a mere forty minutes away. Let me remind you, this is a free clock. When Marissa reads me these messages, it makes me think a lot of people who use Facebook marketplace may have missed out on the golden years of ebay when the rest of us sorted out the simple rules of etiquette for buying and selling things to strangers on the Internet.

Somewhere in the middle of sifting through Facebook messages, a local couple pulled their car over on our curb and smoothly loaded up the pieces into their trunk. And just like that, the heavy clock was somebody else's problem. That's one of the perks of living on the East side of Madison. Our side of town is for hippies, scavengers, and pack rats - few of our neighbors can resist the urge to reclaim junk, especially something as charming as a grandmother clock.

Sip. So happy Thursday. How are you feeling today? The Blackhawks played a late game last night. Marissa and I stayed up to watch the whole thing because you don't just watch half of a hockey game, even when mid-week sleep is on the line. Our persistence gave the hawks some good mojo, and we deftly put away the Seattle Kraken 4-2.

The Seattle Kraken are a new franchise in the NHL. While waiting for the puck to drop, Marissa and I stared at their team's logo in the middle of the ice, trying to make up our mind about how it made us feel."

"Oh I get it," said Marissa. "I was trying to figure out what the little red blob was, but I think it's an eye." A bundle of navy and teal tentacles forming an "S" with a menacing red eye in the middle formed the team's logo.

"They're kind of cheesy," I added. "But new teams always kind of feel like that. I guess one of the nice things about Chicago is that all of our teams are like a hundred years old. We don't have to deal with the cheesiness of a new team."

"I liked the colors at first, but the red is too much," said Marissa, breaking into a chuckle. "Their colors kind of remind me of the Seahawks. Why does Seattle have to be so extra?"

As the game went on, we tried out our own mean nicknames for the Kraken. The Seattle Crack Pipes. The Seattle Butt Kraken. The Seattle Phil M'Kraken. It's just a little too easy, isn't it?

Even before the victory, yesterday was a good day. I had a busy workday, but I got to cap it off with some video games with Rodney. After he came home from school, he ran into my office with very specific instructions.

"Finish your work," he said, waving his hand at my slack window, "then when you're all done, just yell RODNEY, IT'S TIME TO PLAY LEGO JURASSIC PARK." A few hours later, I followed his instructions perfectly. "Rodney, it's time to play lego jurassic park," I called out in the same intonation. Rodney pulled up a chair and we booted up the xbox.

We were stuck on a strange level where the two of us were split up. Rodney, on one side of the closed entry way at the front of the park, had to just bide his time while I finished a side mission by myself. While I fought off a pack of spitting dinosaurs and rescued a park employee, Rodney bided his time doing donuts in a jeep. At last, I hit a switch by the gate, letting his character into the park. The screen faded to a cinematic cut scene, and we pumped our fists.

At this point, we've put a lot of work into Lego Jurassic park. We've encountered bugs and game freezes. On a few levels, we've turned to google for help. The day we finally beat this video game will be cause for celebration.

That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, everybody. Have a great Thursday.