Wednesday, January 5 2022

rocky, zoom school, and dinosaur monopoly

page banner

Dear Journal,

Happy Wednesday, everyone. This morning, I've got my Trogdor: The Burninator filled to the brim with fresh black coffee. Out my dining room window, I can see flecks of fresh snow tumbling in circles on the way to the ground. The overcast clouds dim the morning sun. This room feels soothing and inviting.

Sip. So why do I feel like crap this morning? Oh right, the exercise. This morning, I feel like I was pushed down a flight of stairs. My arms feel like they were sawed off and surgically reattached to my body while I slept. I feel like I was hit by a bus, and then that bus double backed to hit me again just to make sure I'd stay down. Yesterday the instrument of our destruction was the dreaded clapping pushup. Clapping push-ups begin belly down on the ground. With a swift, explosive motion, you shove your body into the air, clap your hands together, and bring them back at your side just in time to cushion your descent back down to the ground. Or at least that's what the objective is. In practice after the first few reps, Marissa and I had to settle for our own custom tailored variations. I hit a nice stride of grunting, clapping, and letting my tired body slam back into the ground with my arms crumpled in front of me. Marissa just clapped while rocking back and forth like a human walrus.

Greeeeg - I still want to lift a bag of water softener salt with my calves, but I'm calling the police if I have to do any more clapping push-ups.

Hoping to draw some inspiration from the greats, I picked the original Rocky for our next movie viewing. What a strangely paced movie. To keep Marissa interested, I had to appeal to the bond of our own marriage to help her bear the first half of the movie where Rocky just walks around town in a leather jacket and a fedora. He fidgets with a bouncy ball and mutters to himself.

"This has to be how Sly Stallone wrote the movie," I laughed. "He just put on a weird coat and hat, grabbed a bouncy ball, and milled around his apartment while he imagined the whole movie."

Things really come to a head when Rocky takes Adrian out on a date for the first time. She reluctantly enters his dingy apartment, but she's too nervous to join him on the couch or even stand on the same side of the room as he. After she had enough, she scrambles for the door, but Rocky springs off the couch to stop her. How does he put Adrian at ease with the situation? In perfect 1970's man logic, it's a forced embraced and passionate kiss up against the wall.

But finally after the movie reaches its peak unsettling weirdness, it moves on to the good stuff. Rocky hits rock bottom. There's an electric training montage. He and Apollo Creed beat the crap out of each other in a riveting climactic fight. I don't remember so much odd lead-up in the other Rocky movies, but sometimes movie franchises take some time to figure out their own identity.

In other news, today Rodney begins his last school-free day, but the house isn't going to get any quieter anytime soon. After the recent surge of COVID omicron in our county, Rodney's school closed its doors and they're going all virtual. Armed with a chromebook and a last minute virtual curriculum, Rodney's going to split the day between me and Marissa.

But "zoom school" doesn't start until tomorrow morning, so Rodney is living his best life as a wild child. Yesterday he built a sprawling blanket fort off the couch that spanned half the living room. I quietly nicknamed the structure fort kickass.


He and Baby Shellvin accompanied Minnie on her weekly exposure therapy at "Scary Depot".


Rodney grabbed his trusty dino rifle and joined me in getting groceries. He stoically brandished his gun to each kid we passed. The coolness was palpable.


"What was the best part of your day?" I asked before tucking him into bed for the night.

"Dino Monopoly," he said without hesitation. A no brainer, the unboxing of dino monopoly was my favorite part of the day too. The two of us were only supposed to lay out the gameboard and learn the instructions, but instead we got sucked into a 1-on-1 match that lasted a whole hour after bedtime.

The game is essentially a dinosaur kid themed version of Monopoly. Instead of money, we get a pile of "leafy greens" from the forest. Instead of "go to jail", it's "head to timeout". Instead of purchasing property, we "befriend dinosaurs". And if you befriend a complete series of same colored dinosaurs, that doubles the amount of leafy greens you get to take from a player that lands on your friend. There's nothing exploitative about vegetables and friendship, right?

"What if I run out of leafy greens?" asked Rodney. I wasn't sure how say "game over, debtors jail" using the game's kid friendly dinosaur imagery. You're eaten by a T-rex? Frozen in the ice age? You go extinct?


That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by everyone, I hope you have a great Wednesday.