Tuesday, April 5 2022

drinking beer outisde, chit-chat, and spideys personality

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. How's your Tuesday going so far?

Over here it's a regular, quiet morning. About an hour ago I summoned the minimum required brain power to brew a pot of coffee, pour a bowl of cereal, and wave Rodney out the door. Then I went right back to bed for a cat nap that seemed to be over in a blink. Not that I desperately needed a nap or anything. A cat nap is just a nice way to start the day. It's a final twenty minutes to clear my head, day dream, and doze off before things get busy.

Sip. It's good to be here today, and so far it's been a pretty good week. The current theme for the week is "drinking beer outside with my dogs", even though this picture was snapped on Sunday before the week actually began. I realized that I spent so much time recollecting our hectic Saturday of driving across the Midwest and wandering around the mall that I completely skipped over Sunday. After so much driving, we didn't want to go anywhere else. But we made an exception for Garver Mill, which is about a twenty minute walk from our house. With dog leashes in hand, Marissa and I sat at an outdoor table drinking beer and talking, patiently weathering through interruptions from Miles and Rodney.

Miles, entrenched in a book phase, might not be so bad by himself. He might have been content thumbing through a comic book while we enjoyed the nice weather.


But his brother Rodney, all hopped up an ice cream cone, persuaded him to get into more trouble.


Can you guess what flavor ice cream it was?

The two of them chased each other around the outdoor pavilion. They tipped over the stroller. They yelled things at strangers. They picked up muddy rocks and sticks off the ground. Perhaps the biggest disaster of the outing was when Miles climbed up onto the table and swatted Marissa's beer. And just like that her glass was empty, and that crisp, delicious, six dollar beer was just a dark wet stain fading into the pavement.

With all three dogs on display, we felt like a spectacle, and lots of people stopped to meet them. In between visits from friendly Madisonians, Marissa and I joked about the things we commonly hear from strangers as Corgi people.

"OH IT'S A CORGI," Marissa cried under her breath. "THE QUEEN HAS THOSE!"


For each person that stopped to pet our dogs, Rodney was quick to rope them into a conversation about spider-man. He got in a funny mental loop where he felt the need to explain the movie "Spider-Man: No Way Home" to each person, even though he's never seen it. His talking points went something like this.

Hi. My name Rodney. I like Miles Morales Spider-Man. Did you know there's a NEW spider-man movie out? It's about the red and yellow iron man spider-man who CAN'T go home. I can't watch it because it's sad.

Sometimes I get so amused watching Rodney rope people into these silly conversations that I just let them play out. Rodney certainly can't help it. He just loves to talk to people. One of the first phrases he picked up on from school is "chit-chat", and the reason seems obvious. "I'm kind of a chit-chat guy," says Rodney.

There's not much happening this week. Actually in full disclosure, I'm trying to race through this week. I have a recharge day off on Friday, which rolls right into Marissa's birthday weekend. She's the focal point of the celebration, but admittedly while curating an agenda for her birthday, I kind of high-jacked the weekend with my own food tourism agenda. On my phone, I keep a list of Chicago restaurants we've never tried, and this weekend we're finally crossing something off the list. After careful deliberation, we've selected Pequod's pizza for a late night eating adventure.

There's not a whole lot going on with the house hunt either. Every day we check our MLS queries and Redfin alerts. We've got at least one promising lead on a private listing. Our realtor told us the owners are waiting to find a new house before they list. So Marissa and I are biding the time by stalking the property with street view and satellite images.

In other news, as we were getting ready for bed last night, I took out Spidey's box to see if he was hungry. Fresh out of another molt, Spidey is the first Spider in our collection that is starting to look like a "whole ass" tarantula. His legs have gotten thicker. His carapace is now about the size of a nickel. His eyes are big enough to make you fell like there's another intelligent creature staring at you.

And did you know that spiders can change personalities between molts? It's an interesting part of their growth that keeps things interesting. Since his last molt, Spidey has been incredibly skittish. The moment my paint brush touched the webbing around his hide, he launched out of his dark cave like a missile. He struck the end of the paint brush so hard that he practically bounced into the air like a basketball, landing on his feet at the edge of the box.


What if he runs out of the box and escapes into our bedroom? I'm not too worried about that. Spiders prefer the familiar, and Spidey especially seems to be tethered to his burrow with an imaginary leash. I think I've also developed a mutual trust with Spidey. I know he's never as confident as he appears. He's clumsy and indecisive at times. I'm reminded of how difficult it was to move him out of his old enclosure in the first place.

That's what I got today. How about this - just to clear your pallete from all the spider talk, here's a free puppy picture.


Thanks for stopping by today. Go have a great Tuesday.