Tuesday, May 24 2022

popcorn, assignments, and drone footage

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. Pull up a chair and help yourself to this fresh batch of... popcorn? I can't imagine eating popcorn right now. In fact, I probably have enough of it stuck in my teeth and gums so that I don't have to imagine it. Morning isn't for popcorn, it's for coffee - just to set the record straight.

Sip. It's good to be here today. Rodney convinced me to buy a box of popcorn at the grocery store yesterday. "For after dinner... for dessert," he explained.

Does popcorn constitute a dessert? I'm not so sure about that. But before the boys went off to bed last night, we let them feast on a fresh bowl of the good stuff and watch an entire episode of Wild Kratts. Capitalizing on a shared interest, Rodney was nice enough to pick the episode about spider webs. Did you know that spiders can eat their own webs and recycle the material? I feel like I should have learned that by now, but educational kids shows just have a knack for humbling us adults, don't they?

Even though I barely got five handfuls of popcorn for myself, there's something deeply satisfying about watching kids eat popcorn. Maybe even equally satisfying to eating popcorn myself. Popcorn is so easy to scoop out of the bowl. It feels feathery and light in your mouth, but the salt, butter, and hidden crunch still make it worth your while. And there's so much of it to go around in just a single bag. Stress fades into the background when you've got a warm bowl of popcorn in your lap.

I think we were due for an after-dinner treat. We got a lot of work done yesterday. Marissa flew around the house making phone calls with contractors and painters. Rodney finished a half day of school and put in some more time at the Chromebook, as he's supposed to on Mondays. I let Rodney work on his Chromebook upstairs at my desk because weirdly the two of us can keep each other on track. We were heads down from lunch time all the way to five o'clock, and the only time we cracked our concentration was to poke fun at an interactive story Rodney was listening to. It was an embellished Kung Fu movie style version of Little Red Riding Hood. In a gravely, menacing voice, the narrator delved into the strange added lore of how eating Little Red Riding hood would give her extra powers. I broke out into laughter when I noticed Rodney's eyes practically bulging out of his head.

"What the heck are you listening to?" I asked.

"I dunno," laughed Rodney. "I'm scared - I'm gonna do something else."

The work week is going along fine. I'm helping out with this big project spanning several months involving several different teams. My name came up and I inherited some work this week, and after sitting silently in the background for months during each of the weekly meetings, that was a real surprise. It's a weird sensation when you here your name come up in a meeting with lots of people. In fact, it's almost identical to the feeling you may have gotten in school when a class where you've barely been paying attention in suddenly assigns a big project.

"I still have bad dreams about that," laughed Marissa.

"Me too," I said. "And how terrible that this kind of thing still occasionally happens in the real world."

I dug into my new assignment yesterday, and it's not so bad. It will keep me busy this week, but I have all kinds of fun things to look forward to when I'm done. This weekend we're spending our first night at the new house. From there, we're taking off to Ohio for the Corgi Agility Nationals. Marissa will compete with our dogs on a national stage, and Miles and I will compete to see who can be the biggest jackass in the hotel pool.

I've also had lots of time to hack on my website at night. Have you noticed there are more links on the home page? Old aggregated topics like "anti-journal" and "looking back" have returned along with a few new ones like favorite quotes and a gallery of our napkin doodles.

As odd as it sounds, I've also been really into YouTube drone footage - specifically long, relaxing video montages of drone footage taken in Schaumburg (and there are more on YouTube than you'd think). Why am I so into Schaumburg drone footage right now? What's so stunning about traffic, roads, buildings, and strip malls? I think it's just my way of getting excited about the big move. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It makes me think of our family's next chapter, and a new beginning in an old place.


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