Friday, February 18 2022

the triangle of neediness, pencil man, and sushi

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, friends. Happy Friday. It's a pleasure to reach the end of another work week. We didn't have any holidays or "recharge" days to help us get here, but we did great work and we've finally arrived. Looking ahead, I'm excited to slide into hobbies, cooking, and cleaning for the weekend.

We had plans to travel up to Iowa to celebrate cousin Alice's birthday, but we decided to call them off because of Minnie, who is still having puppy lady troubles. As a result, the dynamic of our corgi pack is a little off. The conditions feel unstable. We didn't want to throw them into someone else's back yard with other dogs - it just felt like something unpredictable might happen.

So plans have changed. This weekend, we're going to hold it down here at the house, and of course provide Minnie with all the emotional support she needs. This is what I was doing in today's banner image. Feeling uncomfortable with her bulky diaper and changing body, Minnie has been extra snuggly with everyone in the family. Fearing Minnie would steal the spotlight, Ziggy has been trying to out-compete her in neediness. And then I was there doing the dad thing, just trying to capitalize on a snuggly moment and find some validation in my dog daughters. The three of us make up the triangle of neediness that has been ravishing our home all week.

Miles is needy too, but not in such a brooding and complicated way. He needs bananas. He needs milk. He needs cheerios. He needs to do things the moment he feels like doing them, or he's gonna scream.


I'll tell you what I need right now - you guessed it, a beer. Oops - not a beer, we'll save that for later. Grab a cup of coffee and let's raise our mugs to another work week completed.

Sip. Since the napkin doodles seem popular these days, let me show you what we went with for Rodney's Friday lunch. Sometimes the doodles are cute and thoughtful. Sometimes they call back to an inside joke or a running gag that Rodney would recognize. But if we're being honest, most days the doodle doesn't make any damn sense. Most nights, it's just something we slap together before going to bed.

"Just draw a pencil," said Marissa. Before I had a chance to express my disapproval, she left the kitchen to go feed her fish.

A pencil? Fine, I thought. I'll draw a pencil. With arms and legs. Pencil Man.

Pencil man was a mistake. How does he write? Does he squat down over your paper like he's taking a poop? Does he use the pencil tip for defense like a bee's stinger? When he gets dull, does he have to climb ass first into a pencil sharpener? It was getting late and I wanted to head up to bed for the night, so no revisions followed. Pencil man went to school with Rodney this morning in the same form you see him here.


Pencil Man sucks.

In other news, let's check in on the Recker family menagerie. Yesterday was Glassy's moving day. Being my most enthusiastic burrower, I knew getting him out of his lair would be a challenge. Glassy made the most of his tiny plastic cube, hallowing out the entire bottom. I'd have to dig him out. Using a paintbrush, I gently shoveled the fluffy dirt onto a paper towel. I kept a close eye on Glassy, just in case he decided to make a break for it (which would have been an understandable reaction to a giant digging him out of his home with no warning).


Glassy didn't run for his life. True to his beach bum persona, he went with the flow, lazily strolling into the plastic cup. I lowered him into his new box, packed with fresh dirt, a new cut from our pathos plant, and a hallowed out coconut. He explored his new domain boldly.


Glassy is a curly hair tarantula, named for the species' long, shaggy hair, and it makes Glassy difficult to photograph. As I watched Glassy wander around his new abode, my camera made him look like an amorphous hairy blob. Finally, he sat still for a few minutes in his front yard, and his roasted coffee bean color and friendly black eyes came into crisp view.


My boss called me into a surprise 1-on-1 meeting at the end of the day. I've learned by now that a surprise end-of-the-day zoom call is his trademark method of delivering good news. "I think I'm about to make your day a lot better," said Scott cheerily. Indeed, Scott gave me some good news, and a celebratory sushi dinner was in order. Before handing me my plate, Marissa snapped a picture with her camera.


"Why did you take a picture?" I asked.

"I like that I put it on of our plates," said Marissa. "I feel like a housewife that's trying to get easy credit for cooking."

We ran with the gag. Marissa shared the photo in our family chat, where sharing home cooked recipes is commonplace. "First time making sushi, it went pretty well," she wrote in the caption.

Can you imagine Marissa as a sushi chef? She'd listen to Taylor Swift, splitting her time between making a batch of cookies and gutting whole fish in the sink. That image makes me laugh too.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Friday, everybody.