Tuesday, February 15 2022

spiteful naps, flowers, and orange food

page banner

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Tuesday.

Something feels off today. Sleepily moving through my morning routine on rails like a rickety Disney World attraction, I may not have noticed unless Marissa pointed out the obvious.

"I'm not taking a nap this morning," she said. "Isn't it creepy?"

Indeed, she wasn't in her usual spot on the couch. She was, instead, using a scraper on the paint around our hallway window.

I didn't mind as much. These winter mornings are difficult, and whether you take a nap, scrape paint, play "wordle", scroll through Facebook, or scream into your pillow, everyone is entitled to their own morning routine. But our dogs weren't so understanding. Nobody asked them about canceling their morning nap, and they were pretty perturbed. They couldn't make it work without momma's warm body and pile of blankets on the living room couch. They took spiteful naps instead - not sleeping, but trying to evoke as much sympathy as possible with tired, watery eyes. This is the moment frozen in today's banner image. Imagine trying to get warmed up for the day with these mean eyes following you around the room. And people say cats are mean - girl dogs would give them a run for their money.

Miles joined us in the early morning too. Here's another slice of life photo I took yesterday afternoon. Something about the way he was sitting on the couch, half toddler and half giant baby, made me stop in my tracks to chortle.


"Miles is almost 2, and they don't make cute onesies for two year olds," Marissa likes to say. For this reason - and because of his recent pastime of stripping off his diaper at the worst possible moments - we have him wearing these clinical white onesies. Drowsy eyes, damp with drool, staring off into space, making strange noises, it really completes the picture of Miles being an eccentric genius. He's like the lead character in a daytime Hallmark movie about a boy that became too obsessed with chess. Quick improv game to test how awake you are - what do you think that movie would be called?


Oh look, "The Little Pawn" is on TV

So how did your Monday go? Did you do anything for Valentine's day? Marissa and I didn't make a big deal out of it. But the day before while getting ready to have Alex and Cassie over for a small super bowl watching, I sat at the table with Rodney to quickly bang out his valentines day cards.

Twenty one names, twenty one blank dinosaur themed cards, and twenty gummy lifesavers that would need to be stapled to each one. For a five year old, mentally this was like climbing Everest.


At first Rodney employed a very particular friendship tier system - a T-rex for his best friends, a triceratops for an acquaintance, and a mosasaurus for his enemies. But Rodney grew too fatigued to keep this up. "I'm tired - can you do the rest?" he pleaded.

I kept him motivated with 30 second breaks and letting him partake in his own candy pile. At last, we finished all 21 names. His school's Valentine's day celebration ensured his effort was rewarded - he came home from school with a bounty of candy that rivaled what he pulled in last Halloween.

I guess I caught myself in a white lie. We didn't plan anything special for Valentine's day, but on a whim I grabbed some flowers from Hy-Vee. The grocery store just makes it too easy for you, don't they?

I'll now take a minute to offer some rare romantic advice. Buying flowers is a nice gesture, but if you really want to hit it out of the park, don't simply drop them on the table. Present only after you've thrown away the cellophane, removed the dirty grocery store rubber bands, trimmed the stems at an angle (for better capillary action), and dropped them in a vase with some of that magic flower cocaine packet dissolved in water. All that sounds pretty tedious, doesn't it? Well, that's kind of the point. If your job stops with flopping some store bought flowers on the table, then this is, in essence, the same as saying here's a quick chore that needs to be done as soon as possible - happy Valentine's day.

I had a busy day yesterday, trying to keep up with questions in our slack channel while fixing up one of our services. At the end of the day, my brain was so fried I felt like I floated into the car and coasted on mental autopilot to the grocery store. I had no list in hand, and I didn't have the faintest idea of what we'd make for dinner.

But sometimes that's a fun way to cook dinner, isn't it? I imagine I'm on an episode of Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay circling me as I try to pull together a palpable dinner using only some random vegetables, a small pour white wine, some cream, and a half cup of leftover pizza sauce.


I don't know if Gordon Ramsay would have liked it. He probably would have ripped me a new one for serving an orange sauce with orange mashed sweet potatoes. TOO MUCH F****N ORANGE. Well Gordon's right, there was too much orange on the plate.

But it tasted pretty good. It turns out you can make a pretty decent sauce for pork chops with pizza sauce, wine, and cream. After finishing off our bright orange food, we played a game of dinosaur monopoly.


That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, and go have a nice Tuesday.