Monday, March 28 2022

slapping chris rock, concentrated naps, and rough housing

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, friends. Happy Monday. The sun is shining. There's not a cloud in the sky. The weather widget tells me that it's a balmy... nineteen degrees right now. This cold weather is getting kind of old, but at least the sun is out.

I guess I can't complain. Rodney is the one on spring break this week. Before leaving the house yesterday, he was genuinely disappointed that I made him grab his fleece jacket. He must have assumed that "spring break" somehow implied it would be warm outside. What a bad turn of luck for Rodney, but I guess now in Kindergarten is the time to get the crummy, bad weather spring breaks out of the way.

We're on spring break hours this week. Marissa, the daily bus driver, wins some extra sleep. So does Rodney, if he decides to take advantage of it.

I could use some extra sleep. I found myself mentally rewinding my day trying to figure out why I couldn't fall asleep at 3:30 in the morning. Did I have too much coffee late in the morning? Was it the diet coke I had at Portillo's for lunch, or the rest of Marissa's diet coke I had while walking around Target? I concluded it must have been the afternoon nap I took when we got home. It was only an hour long, but it was a deep nap. I got under a blanket with the dogs and I put on a Ken Burns World War 2 documentary, and that must have created an extra powerful nap. A concentrated nap. An hour of super sleep that equated to several hours of normal sleep.

Naps are a dangerous game. It's too easy to become greedy and nap too much, then you just screw up your regular sleep. Coffee, I need you this morning. Please keep me awake and alert, at least until my next Ken Burns couch nap.

Sip. I'm having a hard time waking up this morning. I almost wish Will Smith could personally slap me across the face. Watching the video replay of the ordeal from last night's Oscars, I almost envy Chris Rock. It was a hard slap. Solid contact. I bet a slap like that would wake me up right now.

The bizarre outburst set social media aflame, and Marissa and I were each glued to our phone screens before bed.

"This is fun," laughed Marissa. "It's so... juicy. I want to read everything."

We were tempted analyze it. Was Will Smith just being noble, defending his wife's honor? Ah, but the camera caught him laughing at the joke before his wife gave him the stink eye. How about the way Chris Rock stammered through the rest of his routine while one side of his face began to droop? Or how Will Smith tried to relate the whole thing to his role in King Richard? Should the academy be under fire for letting the evening proceed? In all of this, who deserves the most public scorn?

As tempting as it is to analyze everything, I think it's best to simply enjoy how awkward it was. You know it's been a tough past couple of years when a normal, celebrity scandal feels like a breath of fresh air. Nothing was at stake. Nobody was going to get impeached or go to war over this. Just one super rich celebrity freaking out and slapping another super rich celebrity on stage at an award show. This was a "let them eat cake" moment.

We had a good weekend. By the time I wrapped up work on Friday, the house was quiet. Marissa napped on the couch, Miles napped in his room, and Rodney quietly colored at his desk. Since Rodney was the only one awake, I poked my head into his room to see what he was up to. Rodney, still wearing his pajamas from school pajama day, sprang out of his chair. Spontaneously, we started to throw around his miniature Dave and Busters kick ball.

Rodney taught me how to play a game called "slap ball". We lined up on opposite sides of his bedroom. We took turns whipping the kickball at each other. In slap ball, you can either dodge the ball or block the ball with your hand. Ball in hand, we both quietly giggled while making each other flinch.

Rodney side armed the kick ball. I had my hands up, but to my surprise it sailed through my fingers and pelted me right in the face. My glasses gently rolled off my nose.

"You have to say didn't hurt," ordered Rodney.

"What?" I asked.

"When the ball hits you, you have to say didn't hurt," he explained.

"But... why do you say that?" I asked, still stunned from being pelted in the face.

"Because it didn't hurt," said Rodney, bouncing on the balls of his bare feet. A few turns later, I returned the favor. The rubber ball clocked him in the nose and he fell to the ground. But before his body hit the hardwood floor, he exclaimed "DIDN'T HURT!"

In return, I showed Rodney how to play "Butts Up" - one of my favorite childhood games. We took turns bouncing the rubber ball off the wall. When one of us fumbled the ball, the other had to touch the wall before the ball hit the wall again. As punishment for failing, the losing player had to line up against the wall for a free shot, traditionally aimed right at the butt. I let Rodney tag me out a few times, just so he could enjoy being on the other end of the cruel firing wall.

"You're lucky," I laughed. "We used to play this with a hard tennis ball. And traditionally, you're supposed to get hit on your bare butt."

By the time our rough housing had woken the rest of the house, Rodney and I were on to making slow motion videos of belly flops on his bed.

It was a silly weekend. Here's one more bit of silliness - bonus footage. On Saturday, our workout regiment is grueling. We perform 5 super sets of sweat drenched exercises. The session ends with a final set of twenty sit-ups. As Marissa holds my feet, I like to do the final 100th sit-up with my arms extended in the air, punctuated by a terrible shriek. She was ready this time with the camera rolling. Enjoy.

We'll call that a battle cry for Monday. Thanks for stopping by today, and have a great week everyone.