Today

Today I purposely spoke very little to our little one, who is turning nine in less than two weeks. Lately he argues with us whenever we remind him to do something he doesn’t want to do: such as practicing his multiplication table (which takes about two minutes) or peeing before dinner (he prefers waiting until his bladder is over-capacity). Last night, yet again, he got into one of his moods because we asked him to pause a movie (Wolfwalkers, beautiful animation, seems good) to have dinner with us. Then a small thing—we’re still not sure what—made him angry, and I, tired from cooking, issued the typical parental ultimatum: Eat your dinner or go to your room. Of course he chose the latter. His night ended with me delivering a full lecture of how he needs to stop emotionally abusing his parents every day, how his life is so good compared to so many less fortunate souls around the world, how COVID is still out there killing people and making lives miserable, so please, would you stop complaining and fighting with your loving parents? The lecture didn’t help––not yet anyway––and today the little one was moody. So today I chose to be the mature adult and give him the cold shoulder. Surely he’ll get the message at some point (tomorrow?) and start giving his parents the respect we deserve. Surely.

Today, finally, after a week of not drawing anything, I squeezed out two panels of comics—finally—and then had to stop to prepare dinner.

Today I ordered three bowls of vegan ramen from Ramen Danbo for lunch. When, last time, I ordered only for myself, the little one eyed the noodles, licked his lips, and asked politely if I could get an extra bowl the next time. So this time I ordered two extra bowls. My wife, who is usually not a fan of ramen, asked for a bit of my noodles to try––and ended up finishing off a whole bowl. The boys, who had to wait till after school to have lunch because of a delivery delay, had to split the last bowl of ramen. They both ate every bit of food, including the broth.

Today they announced that all public schools in New York City will be physically closed, starting tomorrow (November 19, 2020). All students shall attend classes remotely. Bars and restaurants shall remain open.

Today I consumed a lot of sugar. Mother-of-the-children made sponge cake in cupcake baking cups, and I ate one at 10am. In the afternoon, the middle schooler, with his mother’s help, made a batch of chocolate chip cookies based on a recipe titled “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.” The little one complained that he doesn’t like chocolate, so his mother made a few cookies, using the same batter but sans chocolate chips. At 3pm, I ate a warm chocolate chip cookie (and it was the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had). Then I had half of a cookie without any chocolate (also delicious). Later, after dinner, I consumed more sugar: vegan chocolate cake that came with Superiority Burger’s Wednesday “meal.” Half way through the cake I felt like I’d had enough sugar for one day. I stopped eating.

Today I learned that a barred owl has been hanging out in Central Park. The owl’s name is Barry. I don’t know who gave him that name.

Today I read an article about mRNA and thought: This miracle technology can save my dad from his body-destroying cancer—if the promise of the technology is real, if they develop the medicine in time, if he can live long enough, if we could all be so lucky.

Today was a day of much consumption, little production. I watched a full tennis match (Thiem v. Nadal, 2020 Nitto ATP Finals) and ate a bowl of vegan ramen from Ramen Danbo (delicious, induced a food coma). I skimmed many articles about real and rumored NBA trades. I started, but didn’t finish, a long Politico story about a former CIA analyst turned Congresswoman from Michigan, Elissa Slotkin, who barely won in her district last week and watched as many of her Democratic colleagues lost their seats. I read a Seamus Heaney poem, Digging, and thought, There are so many words to describe the stuff one digs: turf, bog, sod, mould, peat. I watched a video of the four astronauts, who upon arrival on the International Space Station last night, after a 27-hour ride on the SpaceX Crew Dragon, hugged their fellow ISS astronauts––nobody wore a face mask, and there was no fear of human contact.

Today I sautéed spinach with carrots, and the dish was so popular that I was barely able to snag a bite of the vegetables (which were delectable). I made a mental note to procure more than a single bunch of spinach next week at the farmer’s market.

[drawing of giant squid]

Today I spent a few minutes searching “giant squid cape town,” on the internet, hoping to learn more about the baby giant squid that washed up on the shore of a beach near Cape Town. (Is there any sign of foul play? Where are its parents?)

Today the little one got his braces removed. For nearly a year, he had so much hardware in his mouth. That version of our little one, the one wearing braces, is now forever gone, along with the little one with glasses, the little one who, whenever he ran, shook his head from side to side like Stevie Wonder.

Today I helped the middle schooler clean his very messy room. We wiped his floor, which was marked up by pencil lead. I taught him to categorize all the stuff piled on his desk (toys, stationery, books, magazines, electronics, trash). I found one sock (clean, thankfully) on his bookshelf and one dried-up contact on his desk.

Today I promised myself, again, that I’d write everyday.