Friday, January 10 2020

frustration, fake seasoning, and coding

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! How is everyone feeling today? This morning, I'm feeling well rested. This time of year, hot showers seem to keep me sane, but it's hard to step out of a really good shower on a cold morning, isn't it? Most mornings I picture myself like Kramer in the Seinfeld episode where he decides to live in the shower. I'm sure if my work computer were waterproof, I would try it for just a day.

Aren't you glad it's Friday? I am. I'm relieved it's Friday. Between working in the basement and working at home, I feel exhausted, but equally happy and grateful we're just about done. Just as I described to Rodney last night while putting him to bed, we have plenty to look forward to. We're going to get some snow tonight, we're going to make a pizza, and on Saturday, we're going bowling. The Recker family gets hyped about Saturdays at the bowling alley.

I'm also feeling tired from working in the basement this week, but still reeling from what we accomplished. Marissa and I share the same disbelief. "Today I went downstairs to do a load of wash," she explained, "and I noticed I was still stepping over and weaving between the imaginary garbage that's no longer there." I laughed, picturing her zig zagging through an open corner of the basement out of habit.

Thursday was a long, hard day for the both of us. Marissa had a tough agility class. Ziggy was at a high energy level, and they were having a tough time connecting while training, and Rodney didn't help the situation either. "Rodney is feeling more confident there," she said. "He's friendly to everyone, and likes to get involved, but now he's less likely to just sit and entertain himself." I continued listening as we sat around the dinner table at Pasquale's. Rodney had claimed our second bowl of taco chips for himself. He even got angry with me when I tried to take a chip, leading to an intense dinner table stare down.

Marissa and I continued to vent and exchange stories. I didn't have a great day at work either. I didn't get as much work done as I had hoped. All this week, I have been trying to jump into a new project, using a new programming language and new framework, and I was starting to feel restless. I seemingly can't find enough time to focus and gain some traction, and by yesterday it was starting to frustrate me. Sometimes, I wish I could freeze time, and sit with something for six or seven hours in absolute silence until I understand it. And as soon as I start to build some momentum, I get a slack message or a calendar notification. My concentration breaks, and it feels like I have to start over again.

The best part of my work day yesterday had to be my leftover goulash. I filled a bowl and left it in the work microwave while I selected a drink from the fridge. I relished the smell as it started to trickle out of the break room. I ate in the break room with Heath, Nate, and Karl. Karl, who just had a baby, recently returned from paternity leave and was regaling us with stories from the big lifestyle change. Nate was picking at a flimsy chicken breast.

"Nate, I just have to say, that chicken breast looks like you bought it on an airplane," Heath teased.

"Yeah," Nate replied. "But I didn't. This one is all on me. The worst part is that the seasoning is fake. It looks like it should taste like something, but I think it's just supposed to look seasoned." I laughed, reflecting on the concept of fake seasoning. "What are you eating today, Recker?" said Heath turning to me.

"Goulash," I replied, playing with my fork. "It's a one pot meal, and I kind of got to give my family the middle school lunch lady experience - you know, ENJOY YA NUTRITIOUS MEAL KID. NO SECONDS.," I said with my best hoarse smoker's voice, miming slapping a pile of food onto a plate.

I worked through the afternoon, the joined my coworkers on the seventh floor for happy hour. Having only ten minutes before my bus arrived outside, I decided not to imbibe. Last time, I had to practically chug the rest of my White Claw, and it left me feeling sort of woozy after heading home. I stayed just long enough to chat about the day and bid everyone farewell.

After going out to dinner with Marissa, I put Rodney to bed. We read a book about how Spider-Man, Ironman, the Hulk, and Thor challenged ice monsters from another dimension to a snowball fight. "Look dude - that's Spider-man, Ironman, and that's the Hulk." Rodney looked up from our book, puzzled. "No, not hulk. That's hulk," he said pointing at one of the ice monsters. "Agree to disagree," I said, smiling back at him.

After putting Rodney to bed, I went into chill mode. I changed into some sweats and hung out on the couch with my laptop, letting YouTube run in the background. I spent the evening tidying up some of my side projects and cleaning up the automation around my blog.

I'm also starting to branch out into the world of mainstream NFL. I watched a video on the top rookies of 2019 and some general reactions to major off season decisions. I'm finally bearing witness to how underrepresented the Chicago Bears are in most discussions. Mitch Trubisky was mentioned once - and used as an example of a promising young quarterback who turned a disappointing corner.

So that's what I got today. I allowed myself plenty of extra time to publish my entry today, just in case I broke the script last night while shuffling things around. There's nothing worse than seeing an error message and code puke out onto your screen as you're trying to rush out the door to catch a bus.

Hey - thanks for reading, and happy Friday. You're practically done for the week. There's nothing left to do but to cook meals, shovel snow, and take your family bowling. Have a great Friday, everyone.