Wednesday, December 04 2019

friends, idle time, and vegan food



Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Happy Wednesday. I’ve finally made it to the end of this short work week. Yesterday I spent most of the day quietly writing code with my headphones on, and while it would have been sweet if it all worked the first time pushing it out without making any changes, code doesn’t usually work that way. At four yesterday, as I read the output of the jenkins job, I shook my fist in the air. Failed. Since then I feel like there was a single thread in the back of my brain still working on it - almost as if that software bug is keeping me from starting my midweek vacation.

Normally, on Wednesdays I work from home, but being my last work day this week I decided to go in today. It will be easier to focus, and it will probably give Marissa more room to move things around the living room and finish painting. She decided to paint the walls a different color, and while I’m not the most in tune with subtle color changes, the walls she’s finished make me feel just slightly more relaxed than they did before, so overall it was a net positive, imperceptible change.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Like I mentioned, I spent most of the day hacking away at a new automated job. While working, I listened to the early draft of my 2019 mixtape, taking down notes of small things that need editing. This year, I’m trying to pay a lot of attention to the listen-ability. It always drives me mad when songs on a mixtape or collection aren’t the same volume, so specifically I’m trying to make everything sound as even as possible - the kind of CD where you don’t even notice the dead air between the track changes. And of course, a good mixtape is all about momentum. I like when a track sets the mood for the next, and when the next track can also take you somewhere new while using the momentum of the last, if that makes any sense.

After work, I caught the bus home and walked in the living room. Marissa was behind the TV painting & watching Lord of the Rings. Earlier that day, we decided to make plans for dinner with some friends, so not having a toddler to watch nor dinner to cook, I just flopped my bag on the ground and rolled onto the couch. Marissa joined me for a bit with a bag of chips and some leftover guac. It’s been a while since I’ve returned from work and had absolutely nothing to do, and I’m not going to lie to you - it felt kind of luxurious. “Oh no,” I yelled, glancing at my phone trying to look fake anxious - “we only have an hour and a half to unwind before our next commitment!” As we caught up on unwatched YouTube videos, Ziggy fell asleep in my lap. Soon it did actually come time to meet our friends for dinner, but before we left we did a video call with Rodney. I’m grateful he’s old enough and aware enough to actually talk with us on a video call. In the brief time we spoke, he had plenty of stories for us about shopping, seeing his cousins, and playing soccer with Grandma. I miss him, but I’m also glad he’s having a good time. Being away from home is an important skill to learn, I think. And if you don’t start practicing early, it gets a lot harder to learn.

After our video call with Rodney, we put the dogs away, then jumped in the car to meet our friends for dinner. They were taking us to a vegan & vegetarian restaurant in our neighborhood. Sitting at a cozy table in the back snacking on some vegan buffalo wings, we caught up with their life, holiday plans, and other things. For dinner, I had a macrobowl with a side of tempeh. To be honest, I just ordered it because I wanted a chance to say macrobowl aloud, and our friends encouraged me to get the tempeh so I could experience the crafty meat substitution this place was famous for. Indeed, if I was wearing a blindfold, and perhaps a little drunk, I could have scarfed down the whole meal thinking I was eating chicken wings and a burrito bowl with little pieces of steak.

Even though Marissa and I eat plenty of meat, we’re grateful for the thriving meatless community in Madison. Occasionally, we eat vegetarian or vegan totally unprompted the way a tourist visits a country just for the experience. From the sidelines, I watch the innovations of meatless eating with admiration, because a small piece of me is convinced that I might live long enough to see the modern carnivorous diet die off, and pretty soon we might wind up in a Mad Max: Fury Road situation where the only meat left to enjoy is canned wet dog food or something. In the event that ever happens, I’d like to get ahead of it and figure out my vegetarian preferences. Could you picture Marissa and I roving the dessert in a rusted jeep with spikes on the wheels? I’d probably be snacking on a little bag of tempeh in the front seat while Marissa vigilantly scanned the arid desert for raiders.

After dinner, Marissa and I swung by Hy-Vee, then went home for the night. She painted a bit more, and for the most part I just hung around on the couch. I thought I’d have plenty of energy to work on chores, but ironically, not having Rodney around has the opposite effect on me. I actually find it a lot harder to get stuff done. So most of yesterday evening, I sat on the couch with Zig Zig and watched Lord of the Rings with Marissa while she painted. A pretty mellow evening. I love crushing the chores midweek, but I guess it’s not often I get the chance to just chill with my dogs and watch a movie I’ve already seen.

So that’s what I got today. We have another childless day today, but this one should be busier. Marissa and I have to finish preparing for the gallery this weekend, along with doing laundry and doing final touches on the house while we still can. Our goal is to leave things at maximum coziness for when we return home later this weekend.

Hope you all have a wonderful day today. Here’s to lazy nights and half work weeks!