Wednesday, July 20 2022

computer games, outages, and swimming lessons

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, friends. Welcome to Wednesday. It's 8:30 AM, which means it's time to write. But first I have to close all of Rodney's "ABC mouse" browser tabs. Rodney has been putting in lots of time into computer games this summer. He dug his personal pair of headphones out of his school backpack, and he found the aux input all on his own. How about this - before we close all these browser tabs, let's take a peek into what he's been up to?

I click his avatar. It takes me to his virtual bedroom. Not a lot going on in here, is there?


Rodney's virtual room

The only decorations he bothered with were a set of Russian dolls and one of those novelty cranes that dip into a glass of water. Classy, I'll give him that.

Look at this - he has his own virtual fish tank too?


Rodney's virtual fish tank

He picked a clown fish and an angelfish, and they looked pretty happy once I used that brush to scrub the algae off the glass. I'll say this - zapping the cartoon algae spots with this cartoon brush was kind of soothing. I kind of understand this ABC mouse stuff now.

Enough computer games. If I keep this up, I'm just going to spend the hour doing chores in Rodney's virtual childhood home instead of writing. Let's get back to the real world.

Sip. It's good to be here today, and I'm eager for a do-over at my first work day back. Yesterday when I had finished writing, I poured a new cup of coffee and moved to my office. No less than fifteen minutes after powering on my work computer, the Internet went out. It stayed down until lunch time, then it went out again in the afternoon. Just like that, a whole day was wasted. I was so frustrated, I went outside to build a new metal grilling cabinet that had been sitting in its cardboard box. Marissa told me she wanted to put it together, so this was how I broke the news to her that I was stealing the chore from her plate.


Putting this metal cabinet together was soothing. There were only two types of screws to keep track of. The pieces snapped and slid into their appropriate grooves intuitively. At the very end, I peeled the sticky cellophane cover off the shiny metal table top. I was grateful for this dumb chore I found in the middle of the day. Internet or not, it's proof that I did something yesterday.

In other news, it's swimming lesson week. Rodney has a 30 minute slot at the local indoor pool every morning this week and next week. I took him to his first lesson this past Monday. The lady at the desk told us to find the lady in charge of swimming lessons so she could get him placed in the right level. Rodney and I found her in the kiddie pool, so I sent him over to her. Rodney sat down in the water. She pointed to the deeper end of the pool, and Rodney shook his head. They chatted for a few more minutes, then she led Rodney back over to me.

"Level 1," she said with a casual shrug.

"That makes sense," I chuckled. "He has pretty much zero experience."

She handed Rodney off to another swim teacher where he practiced kicking his legs, floating on his back, and dunking his head under water. But the best part of the morning swim lesson was drinking coffee for thirty minutes in a pool side lawn chair. Morning swim lessons is prime quiet coffee drinking time.

As I'm writing this, Rodney already bounces off the walls in his room. He already changed into his swimsuit and swimming shirt. I didn't have the heart to tell him that swimming lessons were cancelled this morning because of some kind of maintenance issue. Hey, maybe their Internet went out? It would be too sad to just make Rodney sit around at home, so Marissa is going to take him out to breakfast.

In other news, Marissa and I are trying to catch up on work around the house. The lawn needed to be mowed. We had a mountain of cardboard that needed to be shlepped to the curb. After night fell, I followed Marissa around with a flashlight while she sprayed turf builder on the lawn.


Marissa stared off into the dark, cloudy sky and let the hose fall silent. "I don't think I would enjoy being a farmer," she said to herself.

Have a great Wednesday, everybody.