Friday, December 13 2019

sickness, breakfast, pair programming, and the usual suspects

1223 words

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Hope you’re doing well today. I’m feeling good this morning, and at this point - knock on wood - I feel like I’ve survived whatever cold has been going around. Not only was Rodney afflicted, but a handful of my teammates at work too. There were occasions this week where my mouth felt dry, and I felt for sure that I would wake up the next morning with that all too familiar throat tickle that is the ominous harbinger of a soar throat. But now here we are Friday morning, still humming along.

I’m grateful that I didn’t get sick. Did you know I’m a real baby about getting sick? I’m not one of these people that can still get on with their day. If I get a soar throat, I pretty much need to close up for the day and hide under a blanket for hours. The other weird thing about me is that I never seem to get sick on work days. If it happens, it’s almost always Friday afternoon, just as I’m heading into a weekend. This was almost always the case with school, as if my immune system was fighting on reserve power, and once it was quitting time my antibodies punched out for the weekend and let the virus run amuck for a while.

While we’re on the subject, I hope everyone out there - especially those who are sick - are feeling better, or at least taking the time they need to heal and rest up. These winters are just brutal, aren’t they?

So this morning, I’m sitting at the computer with a belly full of coffee, and I’m taking a minute to reflect on why I never eat breakfast. My sister brought it up in our family online chat where I post my daily journal entries. “You always talk about dinner, but what are you eating for breakfast?” she asked. The disappointing truth is that I’m a member of the shameful breakfast skippers club. On weekdays, I break out my work lunch at eleven. I like eating early because it’s easy to find a spot to sit and the kitchen at work is much less busy. But it’s also probably because I’m hungry.

This morning, I’ve packed a little Tupperware container of yesterday’s leek & potato soup. I tied it in a Ziploc bag, and I guess that’s a reflection of my trust in my Tupperware. I also stuffed a little baggie of toasted, peppered croutons I made last night, with some shredded mexican cheese. Inspecting the bag this morning, it appears some of the cheese melted around the croutons that were still warm, but I have a feeling that after I dump the whole mess into a bowl of soup at work, it won’t matter.

So I’m a breakfast skipper, at least during the work week. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not a breakfast hater. On the weekends, we usually sleep in a bit and I really go nuts with the pancakes, Dutch babies, bacon, and sometimes potatoes. Marissa and I sit around the dining room table drinking coffee and digesting food until it’s basically lunch time.

When it comes to lunch, I’m either eating dinner leftovers from last night, or eating somewhere special with my work team. I almost never make anything for dinner that doesn’t leave enough leftovers for everybody’s lunch the next day, and it’s pretty easy to do. In fact, it’s probably a lot harder to bake exactly enough food for a single dinner between two adults and one toddler.

So that’s my eating story. This morning, maybe to shake things up, I’ll grab a granola bar out of our little stash by the coffee bar and eat it on the bus.

Yesterday was a pretty great day. I rolled into work, and despite a meeting heavy day, I still kept on track and finished a lot of work. After our last meeting of the day, I pair programmed with a teammate. In pair programming, usually one person does all the coding and testing - the “driver” - and the other person is kind of the “spotter”. You help guide the problem solving, and you use your laptop to help google things, and maybe test one-off scenarios for them.

After work, I took the bus home, greeted Marissa, then slowly turned on the lights in Rodney’s room. He was fast asleep, and though torn between waking up and going to Hy-Vee with me or abstaining from errands for more sleep, he summoned the willpower to climb out of bed and join us downstairs.

Rodney was quiet at Hy-Vee. Normally he likes to walk beside the cart, and even trail behind me by about twenty feet (I think he enjoys the independence). But he wasn’t feeling well, and just wanted to sit in the cart. I could imagine that right now he has the kind of soar throat that feels like hell after breathing through his mouth for the duration of an afternoon nap.

At home, Rodney crashed on the couch and I got to making soup, which was a pretty easy task, since the night before while cleaning the fridge I decided to slice all the vegetables ahead of time. This time around, I threw in a couple of carrots into the mix. What surprised me is that those carrots managed to turn the whole soup to a shade of orange, which was unsettling at first, but later as we gathered around the table to eat soup sprinkled with cheese, the orange color deceived me into thinking there was more cheese than their actually was. So that was interesting.

And the toasted croutons were a hit. I simply cubed up a loaf of french bread and tossed the chunks with olive oil and some salt, then I went a little crazy on the pepper. I baked them on a sheet pan for about fifteen minutes. The crunchy, peppery croutons submerged in hot creamy soup mentally brought me back to a time where we used to eat at Champ’s as a family after Sunday church. On cold days, I would get the soup, and it had all these croutons floating around, and when you went to eat them, a long strand of melted cheddar would stretch from your spoon to the surface. So that’s the effect I was trying to achieve.

Marissa put Rodney to bed, and I finished up my Secret Santa present. This year, I’m participating in the reddit Chicago Bears secret santa exchange, which they call “Secret Ditka”. I got my match a cooler back pack that was on his wishlist, and I threw in some squeaky cheese curds and a long rambling letter.

After chores, Marissa and I finished watching The Usual Suspects. We had been helping each other follow the action, and even though she had lots of questions in the last ten minutes of the movie, I was afraid to say anything. The ending of The Usual Suspects is so good, I fear what punishment awaits in the afterlife for the crime of spoiling the ending for somebody on their first watch.

So that’s what I got today. Hope you stay warm and healthy today. Eat soup, watch movies, and only bother with breakfast if you have time for it.