Friday, July 1 2022

agility, a new type of work day, and basketball

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. It feels good to walk into a Friday, doesn't it? It also feels nice to have a quiet house, but it almost wasn't that way. Miles saw my shadow on his bedroom wall and yelled "DA-DA". I stealthily closed his door, and I think he must have fallen asleep again. That was a close one.

It's just me here this morning. Ollie is sleeping somewhere in the house, and Minnie, perched on a bench by the front window, curiously watches a delivery guy getting in and out of a truck parked on our cul-de-sac.

Right now I'm thinking about work. I'm thinking about what movie I'm going to set up Miles with in about an hour. I'm also thinking about this mug full of velvety, dark coffee sitting next to me on the table. Did you bring a cup of coffee? Good - bottoms up.

Sip. It's just me and Miles again today. Marissa and Ziggy are back in Rockford for day 2 of their agility trial. Ziggy had a good run, but at this point in her career she's plagued with almost perfect runs. With Ziggy, it's usually a small mistake at the beginning of the run followed by fifty seconds of flawless weaving and leaping.

Marissa sees this as very fixable, and I have to agree. Little issues like losing eye contact, taking a wrong turn, or knocking a single bar will eventually get ironed out. And once she does, Ziggy and Marissa will be unstoppable. Picture a young Michael Jordan before he took the Bulls to the finals.


"I'm Bad" by LL Cool J plays in the background

I like how you see Rodney's head break the frame of the video, and you can also hear him chatting up the crowd. Rodney's in full summer mode. He's got no plans and no commitments. He's taking on life one happy meal at a time.


Here was the scene back at home. I call this "lunchtime leftover chili club".


We didn't save any of that civil war bread, so we just had to make due with plain chili. In a surprising twist, Miles actually took a few bites on his own. Then he flipped the bowl over onto the floor. He flashed a smarmy grin just to twist the knife. He knew that meant "game over" and I'd have to pad his lunchtime calories with a cookie.

I tried out a new type of work day yesterday. I delayed my work day by exactly two hours. I sat down to write a blog at 10:30. I started work at 11:30. I hung around online for our team's evening meeting at 6 PM. Only it wasn't 6 PM for newly hired teammates Khris and Rowell. For them, it was Friday morning.

"How's Australia today?" I asked. Rowell shifted under his thick sweater. "Cold," he said. Khris nodded in agreement.

"So that's like, what, seventy?" I teased.

"Alex, for them that's like almost boiling," laughed Derek. I forgot about the whole Celsius-to-Fahrenheit thing.

It was nice to see our full team together in person. Khris, Rowell, and I talk a lot over slack, but it's harder to connect with someone that way. When you talk in person, you can interject, ramble, and joke - not to mention read facial expressions and hear them laugh.

The late-start workday was an interesting experiment, but it completely threw off my flow. I'm accustomed to getting most of my work done in the morning at peak caffeination. Starting work in the early afternoon, I felt like a car that couldn't get out of second gear. In fact, I probably wasted the better portion of my morning caffeine buzz watching Sing 2 with Miles.

Next time we have an evening meeting, I think I'll just try starting on time, then taking a long nap in the afternoon instead. A siesta.

My work call ended, and we scarfed down some pizza. We all went outside to play some basketball. Since moving into this house, our family has quickly found a new love for sports. Maybe it's just because we have the space for it now?

I faced off against Rodney and Marissa. I deftly dribbled around both of them for an easy lay-up. Marissa air-mailed a shot and I immediately got the ball back. But just as I was starting to feel confident, Marissa stole the ball back and hit a crisp mid-range jumper. Her mouth gaped open in disbelief.

"I think that was the coolest moment I've ever had," she said.

It would have been a competitive, heated game, but on the next play Marissa got her finger stuck in the strap of my wristwatch. She whelped in pain and hobbled off to go find some ice. Rodney took over dribbling, and he immediately jammed his fingers on the ball. He dropped to the ground and started sobbing. Miles, not wanting to miss out on the sympathy, dropped his own mini basketball in the grass and pretended to wale loudly.

That's one way to end a basketball game. Thanks for stopping by today - have a great weekend, everyone.