Thursday, October 10 2019

outages, pizza, and bugs

915 words

⟵ home


Dear Journal,

Good morning everyone. This morning, it’s dark, and chilly. I sat outside for a few minutes while Ziggy did her business. Did you know I have to let her out twice in the mornings? The first time doesn’t count - she’s usually too excited about her breakfast to give herself enough time to poop, so after she eats, I take her out again for “take #2”. This morning I sat on the porch for a few minutes. Coffee was still brewing anyway.

I just looked at the weather for today and sneered out loud. It’s supposed to be a high of 72F. I guess it could be worse, but my first thought was bugs. I think having one more nice day will mean at least another week of mosquitos and fruit flies. As I’m writing this entry, I have a few fresh bites on my ankles.

Yesterday was a pretty rough day. Two days ago on the way home, someone posted a message in my team’s channel that our secret store in the staging environment may have been acting up. The staging environment is only used to do final testing on software before it gets released for actual customers, so problems there are a lot more low key. I replied that I would look at it in the morning.

By morning, the issue had gotten a lot worse and pretty much everyone was affected. I snarkily reported in morning stand-up “today I have to fix vault in staging, and I have a feeling it’s going to take all day.” What followed was a hellish day of shell commands, backups, and war rooms. It was one of those issues that I absolutely made worse before it got better. Somewhere in the middle of it, my coworker kindly offered to relieve me for a few minutes around lunch time. I heated up some hutspot and quietly ate it at the table, then returned to work upstairs until Rodney’s doctor’s appointment.

By 5:30 PM, we had finally restored the service. It felt good to actually fix something. I’m still absolutely exhausted from working on the same issue for an entire day, but it makes a really big difference, morale wise, when the story has a happy ending. I closed my laptop and joined my family downstairs, who was napping on the couch.

We decided to take the dogs to Ian’s pizza. My brain was pretty fried from work, and a night off cooking sounded appealing. I grabbed my backpack, Marissa grabbed the dogs, and Rodney climbed into his car stroller.

The walk to Ian’s pizza is nice. It’s about twenty minutes, and it’s all on the bike path. The sun was going down, and after a long walk pizza was starting to sound really good. We sat outside on their patio. I drank a beer. But to our disgust, our meal was cut short by mosquitos. It’s hard to describe how angry Marissa and I were that mosquitos are still a thing in mid October. Selfishly, I felt like I had earned a long, lazy pizza dinner outside on the patio, and for a second, I felt offended - maybe even disrespected. And now that I’m seeing these words on the screen, I feel kind of silly. I kind of sound like Jonah did in the Bible where he gets angry at God for allowing a worm to eat the plant that was giving him shade. Getting mad at bugs is never a good look for a person. They’re just doing their job, and you can’t just expect to sit outside for hours and enjoy a pizza at any time of the year. This isn’t California.

We walked back as darkness started to fall. Ziggy was on high alert with each bike whizzing by. One of the things that amuses me about bike culture in Madison is how everyone seemingly tries to upstage each other when it comes to bike safety. As if it’s not enough to wear a helmet. People also stick bright LEDs on their bike, and they flash like a concert strobe light. And then on top of it they still holler things like ON YOUR LEFT as they pass you.

When we got home, I used my last puff of energy to clean the kitchen. Our fridge was due for a good cleaning, and being mostly empty, I was able to wipe it down pretty quickly. I finished evening chores around 10, and after retreating under a blanket the next thing I remember was waking up to Marissa coming into the living room around 11:20. We went to bed shortly after.

This morning I’m still struggling to find energy. The coffee is helping, but I’m having one of those mornings where I just keep fantasizing about crawling back into bed. I would probably fall asleep in a few minutes, and I would wake up around 11, like how Saturdays used to feel in college.

Today should be a pretty regular day. I’m going to take the week off of Kids Code to recuperate, and I’ll use the extra time this evening to take Rodney to the grocery store and make something good for dinner. Something warm and nourishing that will counteract all this angry pizza crust and greasy pepperoni that is swimming around in my head.

Hope you have a great day today.