Tuesday, February 8 2022

dessicators, potion, and the lacey act

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Dear Journal,

Hey, everybody. Happy Tuesday. Get in here, it's time to write in the old journal.

I'm stationed at the dining room computer today. Out of the row of coffee mugs on our back wall, on a whim I decided to go with my old flower patterned tumbler. From here in the dining room, I can hear a Seinfeld episode blaring around the corner in the basement. In another notable departure from the norm, after dropping Rodney off, Marissa skipped her morning nap and headed straight into the studio. She has a new series coming out at the end of the week, and this is crunch time. Keep an eye out for Pursuit, by the way. I think you all know where to find her stuff, but it never hurts to get another hyperlink on the world wide web. Go to astuaryart.com, and tell her Alex's journal sent ya'.


You know what I'm in Pursuit of? Another cup of coffee. Let's do it.

Sip. Rodney and I are back into playing LEGO avengers. We finished off an epic rooftop battle with some kind of evil version of ironman. We broke into Cobra's secret underground lair. We got to play as the fire guy from the Fantastic Four.

"Hey, I didn't know the stretchy guy could make fire," commented Rodney. There was a time in my life where I cared enough about comic book lore to set the record straight and point out that Rodney was thinking of Mr. Fantastic, but frankly there's so much Marvel stuff out there, who even cares anymore? Rodney's version of things is more fun anyway.

In the game, fire guy can shoot hot magma out of his hands. We used this power to melt armor on some bad guys that were defending the door that would lead us to Red Skull. Hey, sometimes it pays to be a hot head, he quipped. Rodney and I thought that was funny, and I thought it was worthy of a lunchbox napkin doodle. Not that it holds a candle to the Wild Kratts napkin Marissa penned yesterday. That's a hall of famer.

How are you feeling today? Is the weather getting you down? Do you remember using dessicators in chemistry class? The one I'm thinking of is a round glass dish with a heavy, tight sealing lid - it even looks like something you might serve donuts or pastries out of, except the bottom is lined with a special material that sucks humiditiy out of the air. In school, we used these to dry out powders before weighing them to ensure our measurements were as accurate as possible.

Anyway, my house feels like a dessicator. As I go about my day, drinking coffee and working at the computer, I can feel the winter air drawing moisture out of my skin. I'm not prone to rashes or skin problems, but I know it's bad when even my hide is starting to feel itchy. Fair, soft skin like his mom, Rodney doesn't stand a chance. He itches his hands and his knuckles through the day to the point where he looks like a leper from Bible times. Out of necessity, Marissa left a bottle of lotion on his bathroom shelf to use throughout the day.

"He calls it potion," laughed Marissa. "I think he misheard me the first time. And I don't think he understand what it does - now he uses it when he falls down or bumps his knee."

So we too call it "potion". Like I said, Rodney's version of things is way more fun.

Playing video games with Rodney in the evening was honestly the best part of yesterday. Workwise, I had a tough day. I felt mentally scattered and ineffective. It was one of those days where I tried to do too many things at once, and none of these threads yielded anything valuable. There's no worse way to end a work day than wondering, what the hell did I accomplish today?

Maybe it's been tough finding the brain power to focus. I have a lot of things on my mind. Have you heard about the America Competes bill? I think the bill mainly revolves around restricting imported goods from China, but buried inside is a bizarre amendment to the Lacey act that would make it illegal to move any animal across state lines that's not a dog, a cat, or a farm animal. I remind you since quarantine we've acquired eight exotic spiders, four fish, and a lizard. We also have plans to move this spring.

The bill came out of nowhere and sailed through the house. If the Senate passes, it goes into effect immediately. Marissa and I were going to write a templated email to our senators, but that feels about as useful as filling out the Taco Bell customer survey. If I'm sending emails to senators, I may as well rub "potion" on my skin in hopes the bill will just go away. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it - maybe it will stall for a while and we can flee across the Wisconsin-Illinois border in time with our whole animal family in tact.

I've also got the mask mandate on the mind. A few school districts in Illinois overturned the mandate, and now masks are optional. At the risk of wasting any brain cells reading the Facebook comments, I may have to take a break from social media.

It's tough out there, isn't it? Physically, emotionally, mentally, politically, I feel like I'm languishing in a dry, endless winter. Maybe I'm just getting restless waiting around for the next phase of life.

Alrighty - I'm going to move to the upstairs computer. I bet it will feel nice to get some real work done. Thanks for stopping by today - keep your head up, and good luck out there.