Monday, May 16 2022

potion, lenscrafters, and the madison bucket list

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Monday. There's nothing I feel like doing less than waking up early and jumping on my work computer for an exciting day of ticket duty, but at least we're not at that stage yet. I have a whole hour to sit here and write, and I can comment on the beautiful weather we're having and all the great things we got to over the weekend.

Marissa shuttled Rodney out the door not long ago, but before he left we had a sleepy argument at the dining room table. "Do you know how dinosaur scientists stay awake?" he asked. "They have a special potion. They drink it and it makes their eyes opened up."

Marissa, slumped over at the family computer, started to chuckle. "Coffee?" she asked. "Do you mean coffee?"

"No," said Rodney defiantly. "It's not coffee. Coffee is not a potion."

"How would you know?" I questioned. "You don't even drink coffee." Frustrated, Rodney shook his head. I think Marissa and I won the debate, but Rodney wasn't going to give us the satisfaction of conceding. Knowing this, I poured myself a cup of "potion", gave him a peck on the head, and left the room.

Maybe someday Rodney will come to appreciate the magical effect of coffee. Do you have your cup of potion? Good - we're gonna need it.

Sip. It's been a few days since I've written in the old journal. Rest assured, if I ever take time off writing, you're not missing much. There's either nothing going on, or so much going on that it will just make for good writing later. With moving season starting to really heat up, you can expect more short periods of silence while we close on the house and make occasional trips to our new homestead in Schaumburg.

I think we last left off on Wednesday. I decided not to write on Thursday morning. On my way to the computer, fretting about the fact that I had nothing substantive to write about, I saw Ziggy curled up in a ball on the couch. Using only her feminine eyes, she wordlessly communicated to me go get a cup of coffee and watch YouTube with me. So that's what I did. Ziggy and I watched a recipe video for French chicken and mushroom soup. We followed it with another recipe video for Greek marinated chicken on whipped feta. We watched The Dark Den rehouse some of his fiesty juvenile tarantulas. All the while, I kept an eye on the clock, which seemed to move at slow motion.

This dawned on me - I have a lot of time in the morning. The hour goes by fast when I write. But when I skip writing and do something a little more indulgent instead, like taking a walk, watching TV, or sitting outside, that hour feels like a miniature vacation.

Work has been kind of stressful lately. It's good to know that if I get a little burnt out, I have access to an hour long miniature vacation in the morning.

The day before I played YouTube hookey with Ziggy, we took the kids to the mall. Marissa would kill time with them while I got my eyes examined at the local Lenscrafters, and we would rendezvous again when it was time to pick out my new frames. But we never expected it to take a whole two hours, and the simple errand mutated into a marathon of parenting endurance. Lenscrafters was short staffed. The assistant divulged to me that she should have gone home hours ago. The single working specialist that checked my eyes looked like he hadn't eaten anything all day. But we took it in stride, and for our patience they knocked fifty bucks off my new frames, which I can pick up later this week.


We let the boys stay up late on Friday to watch Sing 2. We hadn't planned on such a late night, but our family was simply too spellbound by the movie to pause it. Our second viewing of the movie sealed its place as a family favorite, and we're already scheming around our own Sing 2 Halloween costumes.


Later that weekend, we took the family to a casual birthday party in the park outside Rodney's school. Rodney assumed himself into the center of the action, playing badminton, tag, and taking a turn at the Pokemon themed piñata. Miles, on the other hand, was his usual shy self. He took short, repetitive trips to the same few spots on the playground, then darted back to the bench where Marissa and I sipped on coffee.


We also had the idea to come up with a family Madison bucket list - little things we'd like to do in Madison before we leave. We scratched off the first item this past Sunday, grabbing lunch at Stalzy's deli in Atwood. Marissa and I watched this place nearly shut down for good in the pandemic, and this sent our neighborhood Facebook into a frenzy. There was a campaign to save Stalzy's, and to our surprise, it worked. The restaurant reopened this spring, and this was a timely second chance to finally see what all the hype was about.

Stalzy's was fine. We found a quiet outdoor table next to the road. Rodney enthusiastically wolfed down his grilled cheese, and Miles seemed to enjoy their house made apple sauce. But the food was just OK. Marissa suggested that we might enjoy their sandwiches more if we didn't get so good at making our own paninis and melts at home. But hey - at least we tried it, and we won't have to always wonder if Stalzy's could have been our new favorite spot. That's what the Madison bucket list is all about.

As a parting gift, please enjoy a new art series. The artist has yet to give it a name, but as curator I'm giving it the working title vehicles, structures, and boy. The medium is washable marker (slightly dried out) on printer paper.











That's what I got today. Have a great Monday, everyone.